Wisconsin Bankers Association Predicts Economic Growth in 2017

Bankers are predicting growth in Wisconsin’s economy during the next six months and steady loan demand in most categories, according to the latest Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) Bank CEO Economic Conditions Survey. This is the first prediction for growth by survey respondents since 2014.

“Wisconsin’s bankers have their finger on the pulse of the state’s economy given their integral role helping local businesses grow and families prosper,” explained Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO. “Loan demand has been very healthy in Wisconsin for the past year, which is always a key indicator that our state’s economy continues to do better. Such a positive prediction is a great way to kick off 2017.”

Wisconsin’s economy is expected to grow in the first six months of 2017 according to 57 percent of the survey respondents while 43 percent believe it will stay the same. This is good news for the state as 75 percent of respondents rated the economy as good, 24 percent fair and 1 percent excellent.

Businesses will be hiring in 2017 according to 39 percent of respondents, versus 60 percent who say current staffing levels will be maintained.

More than 64 percent of bankers responding to the survey say the current demand for commercial lending is excellent or good while 49 percent say the same for business loans. Another 46 percent say business loan demand is fair. Agricultural loan demand is considered to be good according to 57 percent of respondents.

In three of the four loan categories (agricultural, commercial lending and business loans), 50 percent or more of respondents believe loan demand will stay the same. Only 44 percent believe residential real estate will stay the same while 30 percent believe it will grow.

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