BMO Harris Bank Issues Report on U.S. Food & Beverage Industry
Elevated Commodity Prices Are Taking a Bite Out of a Positive Outlook

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 02/04/13 -- The Food & Beverage industry, the third-largest manufacturing subsector in the U.S., should see a gradual strengthening of demand as the economic climate continues to improve, although industry profitability remains highly vulnerable to swings in commodity prices, says a new report on the Food & Beverage industry issued today by BMO Harris Bank.

"Consumer spending on Food & Beverage products in 2013 will likely remain somewhat subdued," said Erica Kuhlmann, Managing Director and Head, Food & Consumer Group, BMO Harris Bank. "However, we anticipate a brighter outlook in 2014 and beyond, in line with our outlook for the broader economy."

"Longer-term demand growth is all but guaranteed, but the industry will likely continue to grapple with elevated commodity prices," said Aaron Goertzen, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Due to the competitive nature of the industry, selling prices have not risen commensurately and this has taken a toll on profit margins. That said, there is scope for input prices to ease in 2013 after being driven up by particularly adverse crop conditions in 2012."

Goertzen also noted the importance of the industry focusing on capital investments, M&A activity and efficient distribution networks to help improve productivity growth.

To access the report, go to https://resourcecenter.bmoharris.com/content/food-thought?free.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and approximately $525 billion in assets (as of Oct. 31, 2012).

Contact:
Patrick O'Herlihy
patrick.o'herlihy@bmo.com
(312) 461-6970

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