Evening Report (VIP) -- October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013 09:44 AM

EMPLOYMENT DATA DELAYED... The U.S. Department of Labor says it will not release its monthly employment report tomorrow due to the suspension of federal government services. On its operational website it says: "During the shutdown period Bureau of Labor Statistics will not collect data, issue reports, or respond to public inquiries. Updates to the site will start again when the federal government resumes operations. Revised schedules will be issued as they become available."

Pro Farmer Technical Consultant Jim Wyckoff says the lack of data the federal government compiles and releases for the marketplace so far hasn't created panic. But he says if the budget impasse drags on into next week, anxiety in the markets will grow. "In mid-October the U.S. government will hit its borrowing limit. If that arguably more important matter cannot be agreed upon by U.S. lawmakers in a timely manner, then it could be a much bigger event for the marketplace than the current budget impasse," he says. Click here for more.


SOME SEE MIXING 2014 FUNDING WITH DEBT LIMIT HIKE... In a press conference Tuesday, House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said he expects the debt limit to be "the forcing action to bring us, the two parties, together... We want a budget agreement that gets the debt under control, we want to grow the economy, and that's what we're here to do," Ryan said. He added that Republicans are seeking a "budget agreement that pays down our debt, that has pro-growth economic policies to create jobs, to make sure that we can deal with the sequester."

Ryan and other Republicans focused on budget issues believe that Democrats are so unhappy with the sequester -- the spending reductions imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act and enforced by automatic, across-the-board spending cuts -- that they will want to strike a larger deal cutting entitlement spending in return. They believe the need to raise the debt limit as well as the sequester give them leverage to strike such an agreement, since many Democrats have made sequester relief a priority.

Both sides are locked in on fiscal fundamentals: GOP leaders insist they will not vote for another tax increase and Democratic leaders' demand that new revenue be generated by closing tax breaks in return for changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Still, some say a deal could emerge that includes limited restructuring of entitlement programs, revenue in the form of fee increases or something similar and initiatives aimed at promoting economic growth such as a tax overhaul, according to sources close to GOP leadership.

Meanwhile, lawmakers whose districts include many federal employees are pledging to make sure that furloughed workers will get paid once the shutdown is over. Learn more.


DROUGHT MONITOR: DROUGHT FOOTPRINT SHRINKS... According to the National Drought Monitor, drought covers 60.43% of the contiguous U.S., which is down from 61.94% last week. Drought expanded over the past week in the Midwest. Drought now covers 56.06% of the region, up three percentage points from last week. The South, on the other hand saw a decrease in its drought footprint to 73.8% compared to 77.71% last week. The High Plains also saw around a three-percentage-point reduction in drought over the past week, with 70.13% of the area still in some form of drought.

The monitor reports that a series of frontal systems swept across the Northwest during the past week, producing strong winds and heavy rains. The Pacific system slowed as it made its way into the nation's midsection. It generated 1 to 2.5 inches of precip from the Texas Panhandle northward into western Minnesota. Lighter amounts (less than 0.5 inches) fell on the remainder of the Midwest, the Drought Monitor explains. "Late in the period, the front stalled in the southern Great Plains, tapping Gulf moisture and producing scattered showers and thunderstorms in Oklahoma, Texas, and most of the Delta," it continues. Click here for more details and maps.


PRO FARMER CHARTS SERVICE INTERRUPTED... With only essential federal government employees on the job, data that we use to compile the majority of the Pro Farmer Charts service are unavailable. We will release charts if the data is available, but this service has temporarily been interrupted because of the government shutdown.

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