Small-town Bankers Are Still Hopeful about US Economy

Small-town Bankers Are Still Hopeful about US Economy
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This photo taken Monday, July 1, 2019 shows new construction underway at Carraway Village, a mixed-use community in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) American financial experts may be worried about trade wars, tariffs and talk of a recession, but ask a small-town banker and economic conditions are pretty good. Across the United States, people are building and buying homes. Small businesses are borrowing money to expand. Most families are earning and spending money. Even farmers are doing relatively well, despite the country’s trade battle with China. U.S. farm prices have changed little over the past year. So, it is unusual that interest rates on U.S. government bonds are near historic lows. Talk of a possible recession has caused stock prices to drop with each trade threat from the Trump administration. Even with falling stock prices, and the World Trade Organization predicting slowing economic growth, Main Street America seems happy. Federal Reserve officials have “continually made the point that the economy is on a strong footing. Employment is strong,” said Michael Stevens of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). His group represents the local regulators who oversee the 5,500 U.S. banks with less than $10 billion. Most have less than $250 million. “When you get down to that local level – I see consistency ” with the Fed’s prediction of a continued expansion, Stevens told the Reuters news agency. This year the CSBS released a new measure of economic health. The new index is based on opinions of […]

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