WI Bank CEOs Report Improving Economy, Citing Pent-up Demand

WBA Releases Results of Bank CEO Economic Conditions Survey

MADISON, Wis. – In the Wisconsin Bankers Association's biannual Economic Conditions Survey of Wisconsin bank CEOs, 76 percent of respondents rated the current economy at "good," followed by 15 percent at "excellent" and 10 percent at "fair." This marks a positive change from the end of 2020 when the survey was last conducted and 58 percent of respondents rated the economy at "fair," followed by 38 percent at "good," 3 percent at "excellent," and 1 percent at "poor."

"Wisconsin bank CEOs are in a unique position to provide insight on the economy because they see the day-to-day happenings with their customers and put that knowledge together with data and industry expertise," said WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels. "It is very encouraging to see the economy improving as people begin to resume their spending on products and leisure activities in ways they were unable or hesitant to do six months or a year ago."

Many bank CEOs linked favorable economic conditions to pent-up demand for goods and services as COVID-19 restrictions lift, with government stimulus money, low unemployment, low interest rates, and savings built up from staying home bolstering consumer confidence. Commonly cited sources of economic concern, on the other hand, were workforce shortages, supply chain issues, and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

Wisconsin's economy will continue to grow over the next six months, predict 48 percent of respondents, while 39 percent predict it will stay the same and 13 percent predict it will weaken.

The survey was conducted the last two weeks of July with 62 respondents. Sums may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. Below is a breakdown of the survey questions and responses.

How would you rate the current health of the Wisconsin economy. . .

 

Excellent

15%

Good

76%

Fair

10%

Poor

0%

 

 

In the next six months, do you expect the Wisconsin economy to. . .

 

Grow

48%

Weaken

39%

Stay the same

13%

 

 

Rate the current demand in the following categories:

 

Business loans

 

Excellent

10%

Good

30%

Fair

52%

Poor

8%

 

 

Commercial real estate

 

Excellent

13%

Good

44%

Fair

33%

Poor

10%

 

 

Residential real estate

 

Excellent

40%

Good

48%

Fair

12%

Poor

0%

 

 

Agricultural

 

Excellent

2%

Good

34%

Fair

56%

Poor

8%

 

 

In the next six months, do you anticipate the demand for the following loan categories will. . .

 

Business loans

 

Grow

43%

Weaken

7%

Stay the same

51%

 

 

Commercial real estate

 

Grow

31%

Weaken

8%

Stay the same

31%

 

 

Residential real estate

 

Grow

14%

Weaken

41%

Stay the same

46%

 

 

Agricultural

 

Grow

18%

Weaken

6%

Stay the same

76%

 

 

In the next six months, are the businesses in your bank’s market area likely to. . .

 

Hire employees

82%

Maintain current staffing levels

15%

Lay off employees

3%

 

 

In the next six months, is your bank likely to. . .

 

Hire employees

48%

Maintain current staffing levels

45%

Lay off employees

6%

 

 

In general, how would you say the pandemic has affected your business customers?

 

Very positively

10%

Positively

34%

No impact

16%

Negatively

39%

Very negatively

2%

 

 

In general, how would you say the pandemic has affected your retail customers?

 

Very positively

3%

Positively

37%

No impact

17%

Negatively

41%

Very negatively

2%

 

 

 

By, Cassie Krause