Wisconsin Bankers Predict ‘More Of The Same’

In the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s latest survey, 76 percent of bank CEOs rated current economic health as “excellent” or “good.”

Most survey respondents (70 percent) predict that Wisconsin’s economy will stay about the same over the next six months. They expect inflation to either stay about the same (66 percent) or fall (26 percent).

The responses from this recent survey underscored themes of economic stability and resilience compared to the previous survey at the end of 2023. Last year, 68 percent of respondents rated Wisconsin’s health at the time as “excellent” or “good.” Responses split between predicting the economy would weaken over the next six months (44 percent) or stay about the same (47 percent).

“WBA’s biannual survey is a valuable tool in identifying economic trends in Wisconsin thanks to the insights of bank CEOs as both financial experts and active community members,” says WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels. “Bankers understand that individuals, families, and businesses continue to feel the pressure of inflation. Banks stand ready to assist their customers in weathering economic challenges.” 

The economic bright spots in the survey were: higher spending, continued demand for products and services, and strong employment.

Looking ahead to the latter half of 2024, however, bank CEOs reported concerns in the agricultural sector due to grain and dairy price declines. Respondents were also concerned with a lack of employees, limiting growth in the manufacturing sector. They cited the upcoming election as a potential cause for pause on certain economic activity.

The survey showed that the high cost of living, rising debt, and availability and affordability of housing persist as top concerns for individuals and families for the remainder of 2024.  

The mid-year 2024 survey was conducted May 21–June 21 with 66 respondents. More survey results and graphics are available at www.wisbank.com/2024survey