Economy looking good for 2018

It may have been a tough year in 2017, but already this year is looking up.

“If you live in the commodity world, which is North Dakota, 2018 is going to be a much better year than 2017,” said Eugene Graner, financial analyst.

Graner says in 2017 there wasn't much of a range for prices for commodities like corn, meaning there wasn't much profit to be taken, but he says the deck is stacked in favor of higher prices for the new year.

“2018 has an advantage coming. We've already priced in big crops but we have a weakening US dollar and that weakening US dollar is going to make our commodities more competitive to sell and that will lift the prices for grains in 2018.” said Graner.

For other products like oil, expect to continue seeing increases in the prices. Graner says he expects to see oil around $60 to $65 a barrel, then reach the $70 mark later in the year. And that means changes at the pump, too.

“I would not be surprised we're going to see gasoline in the $2.90 to $3.20 range as we get to summer,” Graner said.

Graner says the stock market should also be strong this year. He says recent tax cuts have businesses giving employees bonuses and making plans for expansions, moves that will stimulate the economy.