A period of little or no growth in livestock and poultry
production appears to be drawing to a close, with prospects
for more typical growth rates the rest of this year
and next year. Preliminary figures show U.S. meat production
during the 12 months ending with June edged
below the output of the same period the year before.
The nominal downturn contrasts with the uninterrupted
growth rate of 2.7 percent annually that occurred on a
calendar year basis between 1982 and 1995. However,
the momentum in meat production is rebuilding. The
latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projections point
to a 3 percent year-over-year rise during the second half
of this year and a rise of nearly 4 percent for 1998.