Consumer sentiment going into 2018 looks good for beef demand

Consumer sentiment stays steady and enjoys a 16-year high. What does that mean for beef producers?

Nevil Speer

December 21, 2017

2 Min Read
Consumer sentiment going into 2018 looks good for beef demand

Industry At A Glance is highlighting several key economic indicators in the final weeks of 2017.  Last week’s column highlighted the current employment situation. And next week’s focus will surround the current state of S&P earnings. Meanwhile, this week’s illustration highlights general consumer sentiment as we close out the year. 

The initial reading for December stands at 96.8 (the final reading will occur during the final week of the month). That monthly reading is off slightly from November’s final number at 98.5. However, more importantly, December’s sentiment reading is right in line with the 12-month moving average.  

To that end, the 12-month moving average now stands at its highest level since July 2001. So never mind the monthly noise; it appears that consumers are feeling positive about the current state of the economy and have held that general outlook during the past year. 


That’s an important development: as noted last week, one of the key components for demand of any product, including beef, involves consumer expectations; in general, better expectations translates to stronger demand, all other things being equal.

What’s your general assessment of the state of the economy? Is your sentiment consistent with the survey readings? How do you perceive this general view of the economy by consumers playing out in 2018? Will consumers spending remain robust as we come out of the holiday season? How might this translate for beef demand in 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related:Employment outlook going into 2018

Nevil Speer is based in Bowling Green, Ky., and serves as vice president of U.S. operations for AgriClear, Inc. – a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group Limited. The views and opinions of the author expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the TMX Group Limited and Natural Gas Exchange Inc.

About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
BEEF Magazine is the source for beef production, management and market news.

You May Also Like