Daily News: March 21, 2014

Leveraged Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Loan Volume Up 42% Y/Y

In its latest Industry Research Update on Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, GE Capital said global leveraged loan volume encompassing these sectors in 2013 totaled $130.9 billion, a 42% increase year-over-year.

GE Capital commitments, Americas only, as of December 2013, were $13.0 billion encompassing retail & restaurants @ $6.7 billion; food & beverage manufacturers @ $2.9 billion; agribusiness @ $1.9 billion and wholesalers & distributors @ $1.5 billion.

The following highlights were excerpted from the report:

  • Consumers were less optimistic in February, expressing concern regarding the short term economic outlook, according to The Conference Board. U.S. consumer confidence was reported at 78.1 in February (1985=100), -1.6% lower than prior month.
  • Economic conditions in the U.S. are slowly improving. However, the recent 0.1% rise in the U.S. unemployment rate, instability in countries including Syria and Ukraine, as well as ex tremely cold weather conditions in the U.S. are all factors influencing consumer sentiment and spending.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food and beverages increased +1.1% in January Y/Y. Food at home inflation rose +0.5%, a slower rate than the +2.0% increase in food away from home.
  • The Producer Price Index (PPI) increased +0.7% Y/Y in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Drought conditions continue in California, the top U.S. agricultural producer, and could lead to higher produce prices. U.S. drought conditions currently stretch from the West Coast to portions of the Mississippi.
  • To read the entire GE Capital Industry Research Update, click here.