Bankers Strongly Optimistic and Confident on Wisconsin Economy; Now and for 2018

(Madison) – Bankers are strongly optimistic and confident about Wisconsin’s current economy as well as what 2018 holds in store for the Badger State. That’s according to 100 Wisconsin bank CEOs and Presidents who contributed to the latest Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) Bank CEO Economic Conditions Survey. 

The Wisconsin economy’s current health is good according to 80% of the respondents. This is the highest rating by bankers in the last 10 years of this survey. Additionally, 9% believe the economy to be excellent. Equally encouraging is the fact that 53% believe Wisconsin’s economy will grow over the next six months.

Business loans seem to be fueling that optimism with 59% saying that current demand is good with another 3% stating it is “excellent.” Demand for business loans will also increase according to 53% of respondents.

“This is very encouraging news from our bankers on what 2018 holds for Wisconsin. Our bankers have a unique perspective on the economy. Their knowledge is fueled by their efforts in helping local businesses grow and families prosper,” explained Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “Bankers are the first to see and understand Wisconsin’s economic trends because of their customers’ activities and use that information to help their communities prosper.”

The survey was conducted over the first two weeks of December with 100 respondents. 

Below is a breakdown of the questions and responses.

How would you rate the current health of the Wisconsin economy…  
a) excellent 9%
b) good 80%
c) fair 11%
d) poor 0%
In the next six months, do you expect the Wisconsin economy to …   
a) grow 53%
b) weaken 2%
c) stay the same 45%
Rate the current demand in the following categories:  
Business loans  
Excellent 3%
Good 59%
Fair 37%
Poor 1%
Commercial real estate  
Excellent 15%
Good 48%
Fair 34%
Poor 3%
Residential real estate  
Excellent 15%
Good 53%
Fair 31%
Poor 1%
Excellent 0%
Good 25%
Fair 61%
Poor 14%
In the next six months, do you anticipate the demand for the following loan categories will…  
Business loans  
Grow 53%
Weaken 4%
Stay the same 43%
Commercial real estate  
Grow 41%
Weaken 6%
Stay the same 53%
Residential real estate  
Grow 38%
Weaken 6%
Stay the same 56%
Grow 13%
Weaken 23%
Stay the same 64%

By, Eric Skrum