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By Daryll Lund

As the last several years have proven — it can be difficult to predict exactly what the year ahead has in store. Between rising inflation, growing mortgage rates, and consumer uncertainty, communities throughout Wisconsin are looking to their local bankers for guidance and tools to prepare.

In an effort to stay one step ahead, educated, and ready to assist when called upon, it is critical that all bankers continue to lean on their peers and industry experts for reliable information and outlooks. Events such as the annual Midwest Economic Forecast Forum — presented by the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) in partnership with other state banking associations — provides bankers just the setting to become acquainted with tomorrow’s economic predictions.

This year’s virtual forum will feature James Bullard, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Augustine (Gus) Faucher, chief economist at the PNC Financial Services Group. During the two-and-half- hour event, the two experts will discuss their economic insights and expectations for 2023 and beyond specifically for bankers of all levels, board members, and business clients.

Additionally, WBA’s charitable arm — the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) — provides quarterly economic updates specifically tailored to Wisconsin bankers on banconomics.com. Compiled by UFS, Banconomics features essential economic data, research, and reports community bankers can utilize to support public and private decision-making. These quarterly reports are designed to be shared with staff, bank directors, and shareholders to assist the bank in tracking benchmarks and creating peer comparisons — undoubtedly a valuable tool to remain informed on our industry throughout the year.

While uncertainty in our daily lives remains ever present, there is no shortage of tools for bankers to gain valuable insights on economic changes as they occur. Our Association is committed to ensuring bankers in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest not only have access to the knowledge and resources best suited to guide our community members, but for the continued prosperity throughout our industry.