NEW YORK — The Federal Reserve's recent move to raise short-term rates by a quarter percentage point was hardly a surprise to U.S. executives, but it hits as industrial manufacturers like 3M Co. and Honeywell International Inc. offer cautious sales forecasts, as agriculture commodities are in their third year of declining prices, as transportation firms contend with sagging freight volumes, and as food and beverage companies struggle with the strong dollar sapping sales growth.

That analysis is part of a story from Dow Jones Business News, in which some of the nation’s largest companies comment on what the interest rate increase might mean for their businesses.

Here are comments related to farm equipment dealerships:

“Retail-level farm equipment dealers will face higher interest expenses for holding new and used inventory at their dealerships. Dealers typically borrow money from equipment manufacturers, such as Deere & Co., to purchase new models or acquire used equipment from customers through trade-ins.

"We've got a lot of used inventory. But a small increase in rates won't make much difference" for borrowing costs, said Tom Sloan, CEO of Sloan Implement Co., a Deere dealership with branches in Illinois and Wisconsin.”

Question for Rural Lifestyle Dealer readers:

What do you think of the interest rate increase? Will it have much effect on your dealership’s revenue in the coming year?

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