Some say it’s downhill from here:

“U.S. CFOs, on average, believe there is a 31% chance that the U.S. economy will be in recession by year-end 2016… That percentage is double the 16% who thought so just 10 months ago.” Source: Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey

“Business leaders are expressing more pessimism than they have in years…According to results from the 2016 JPMorgan Chase Business Leaders Outlook report, executives’ optimism about the US and global economies fell significantly this year from last.” Source: JPMorgan

“GDP growth slowed to a 1 percent annualized rate this past winter.” Source: Fortune

Others say the best is yet to come:

“Jobless claims are the most consistent and comprehensive gauge of the economy’s health, and they are at the lowest they’ve been in decades.” Source: Fortune

“Lending activity is strengthening.

  • US banks’ balance sheets have expanded at an annual rate of 5 percent
  • Commercial and industrial lending has achieved a 10 percent annual growth rate
  • Consumer credit, as well as commercial real estate and mortgage lending, have accelerated”

“…the majority of executives, 70 percent, have positive expectations for their companies’ performance in the coming year, 65 percent expect revenue/sales to increase and 60 percent expect profits to increase.” Source: Fortune

:…GDP estimates are likely missing some key elements of economic activity that are increasing the productive capacity of the American workforce in ways that are difficult to measure —particularly in regards to mobile technology and the emergence of digital marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb,” Source JPMorgan

blue bar chartSo, who do you believe?

First, understand how your bank thinks their market is doing, and where it’s going. The local economy in your area will drive their thinking and their view of your business more than anything else – including your business, of course. If business is good for them in your city, Grexit or Brexit or the price of oil or gold or soybeans won’t keep them from supporting your needs. And if that’s not the way your bank sees it, we suggest you look for another bank.

Finally, and really most importantly, ask your customers. The economy of your business is tied to theirs, and all the economic predictions in the world won’t have as much impact on your business as their plans and expectations. Visit your customers, accompany your sales team on their appointments, listen to what your customers are saying about their business, their markets, their intentions. That’s the economy that matters to you. Believe them. And believe me.

As always, I welcome your feedback and comments.

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