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Economist Robert J. Morgan, Austin Associates, LLC
“We’ve seen more growth in the last 6 quarters than the last 4-5 years,” stated Robert Morgan, economist with Austin Associates, when he recently spoke to several of Citizens National Bank’s business customers about the economic outlook for 2017. That statement speaks volumes about the direction Morgan feels our country is taking in regards to economic activity and the opportunity for businesses to expand over the next year. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has traditionally trended around 2.5-3% for the US. Since the recession in 2009, that number has averaged below 2%. That changed in 2016 and Morgan predicts real GDP to be somewhere near 3.5% by the end of 2017. Seventy percent of real GDP is driven by personal consumption expenditures, how much people are willing to buy based upon their confidence in the economy and employment. Consumer confidence reached a record level in 2016. That combined with improved employment rates will result in continued spending by consumers.
Areas Morgan feels will contribute to that growth will be automotive and housing. “Vehicle sales will continue to increase as the average age of the fleet of cars in the US is still 9.3 years old,” explains Morgan. Home values will continue to rise as inventory of existing homes is extremely low and people will begin to build new homes in order to get the type of home they want. This will result in a strong construction sector.
“Cash balances for businesses have grown as business owners took a wait and see approach and held on to their capital. Their confidence is also beginning to build and they will begin to invest in fixed investments and expansion as their inventory has largely sold out and they need to create more product,” states Morgan.
Of course there are always uncertainties in the economy and Morgan cautions this optimistic outlook is based upon a labor market that continues to grow and foreign economic conditions not adversely affecting our domestic economy. Uncertainty about fiscal policy in regards to taxes, rising interest rates, increased regulation, and the simple demographics shift that shows baby boomers as the largest segment with very different needs and wants than the growing millennial generation will also play part in trends we see in the US economy. But overall, Morgan is very optimistic that we’ll continue to see positive growth over the next year.
To view the entire presentation, visit our YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/cnbohio.
On Tuesday, January 24 beginning at 8:30 am, Citizens National Bank and Williamson Insurance Agency will jointly offer a free seminar to local farmers and ag businesses. The event will be held at the Delphos Eagles Aerie #471, 1600 E. 5th Street, Delphos, Ohio. A continental breakfast will be served prior to a presentation by Williamson Insurance describing an overview of annual crop insurance changes and what farmers can expect in the upcoming year. Featured speaker, Bryce Knorr, Senior Market Analyst with Farm Futures Magazine, will follow with the main presentation. Lunch will be served immediately following.
About Bryce Knorr: Senior Market Analyst Bryce Knorr first joined Farm Futures Magazine in 1987. In addition to analyzing and writing about the commodity markets, he is a former futures introducing broker and is a registered Commodity Trading Adviser. He conducts Farm Futures exclusive surveys on acreage, production and management issues and is one of the analysts regularly contracted by business wire services before major USDA crop reports.
Those wishing to attend may RSVP to 888-399-5276 by January 21.
2017 Economic Forecast
Economist Bob Morgan is optimistic the nation and Northwest Ohio will continue to see steady economic growth in 2017. Increased consumer spending, job growth, increased wages and overall consumer confidence all play a part in the continued upswing of the nation’s economy. In Northwest Ohio, Morgan expects the housing and automobile markets to remain strong and manufacturers to begin to increase output. Political gridlock will be a major issue facing the divided country and until those issues are resolved, no major fiscal policy changes can be expected, according to Morgan.
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Butch Kirk of International Tank Service in Lima has a long-standing relationship with Citizens National Bank. Since his employees are constantly on the move building tanks across the country, he relies on the bank to provide products such as direct deposit and corporate credit cards to allow them to access their funds and pay for business expenses. An avid outdoors man and hunter, Butch is often traveling for his next outdoor adventure. He knows he can easily keep tabs on his business through business online banking and his banker, Ken Dysert, is just a phone call away.
Make it Easy with CNB Visa Gift Cards!
The easiest gift to give your family or employees is something they can use anywhere. Citizens National Bank offers Visa gift cards which can be loaded in any denomination from $10 to $1000*. They’re themed for the holidays in a variety of designs. We even offer the option of bulk ordering and having them shipped directly to your place of business. Stop by your local CNB office to purchase cards and give the perfect gift this holiday season!
*Fees may apply.