Wisconsin bank leaders forecast steady economy in 2020


Leaders of Wisconsin banks are optimistic the state of the economy will remain steady in 2020, according to a Wisconsin Bankers Association survey.

Nearly 80% of bankers rated Wisconsin’s current economy as “good” with nearly the same percentage predicting the economy will stay the same in 2020.

The survey, conducted in the first two weeks of December, was filled out by 83 bank chief executive officers and presidents across Wisconsin.

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Low unemployment, strong manufacturing, low interest rates, a diverse economic base and strong consumer confidence were cited as reasons why the economy is doing well, according to a press release.

Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the WBA, said 2019 was a strong year for lending activity and Wisconsin’s economy as predicted in the WBA’s 2019 survey.

“It’s very encouraging to see most bankers believe 2020 will continue that positive trend,” Oswald Poels said. “Bankers are the best barometers of the economy as they see all segments of every marketplace.”

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Loan demand for business, commercial real estate, and residential real estate are good with the 2020 forecast saying those levels will stay the same in the new year, according to the press release.

However, bankers are less confident in agricultural loans with 51% saying levels are “fair” and 33% say “poor,”  but 56% of respondents expect conditions to stay consistent  consistent in 2020.

Businesses will hire more employees according to 45% of the respondents, while 54% say businesses will maintain their current staffing levels, according to the survey.

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