Bankers confident in state’s economic health

Most Wisconsin bank leaders consider the state’s economic health to be at least “fair,” according to a Bank CEO Economic Conditions Survey recently conducted by the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

Of the 94 Wisconsin banks that responded to the December survey, 98 percent classified the state’s economic health as “good” or “fair.” And 90 percent expect the economy to remain at its current level or improve over the next six months.

In a June survey, 50 percent of respondents predicted the Wisconsin economy would grow in the next six months. The bank leaders surveyed last month indicated their banks had indeed seen slow, steady growth.

In addition, residential real estate loans are doing well, with 53 percent of respondents indicating “good” or “excellent” demand. This indicates the housing market is also becoming healthier statewide.

Commercial loans are also expected to rise in the next six months, reinforcing the strengthening economy, said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO.

Bankers are voicing less uncertainty about the economy than they were in the June survey, Oswald Poels said.

“The role bankers play in their communities gives them a unique perspective on the economy to offer,” she said. “Wisconsin’s economy is getting stronger.”

The WBA is a financial industry trade association representing almost 300 commercial banks and savings institutions across the state.

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