Easing trade tensions with China, increased consumer spending and a more stable interest rate environment helped improve U.S. business sentiment in the fourth quarter, according to the Citizens Business Conditions Index™. In the latest report released by Citizens Commercial Banking, the index increased from 60.2 to 61 and remained well above 50, showing growing confidence in the U.S. economy.
"Progress toward the first phase of a China trade deal, more clarity around Brexit, improved consumer spending and a stable rate environment took some of the uncertainty off the table for business leaders in the fourth quarter," said Tony Bedikian, head of Global Markets for Citizens Commercial Banking. "Of course, this quarter the coronavirus is having an impact on certain sectors and markets, but the overall economic trend so far is still positive."
The Index is derived from a number of underlying components, most of which remained strong during the fourth quarter.
- The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) was down, but the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI rose.
- Unemployment figures decreased, or remained stable, across most of the country during the fourth quarter and wage growth continued at a slow-to-moderate pace.
- Proprietary measures of business activity among Citizens Commercial Banking's more than 7,000 clients across the United States remained strong.
The Index draws from public information and proprietary corporate data to establish a unique view of business conditions across the country. An index greater than 50 indicates an expansionary trend and points to improved business growth for the next quarter.
Citizens is a trusted strategic and financial adviser, consistently delivering clear and objective advice. The Citizens Commercial Banking approach puts clients first by offering greatideas combined with thorough market knowledge and excellent execution, to help our clients enhance their business and reach their potential. For more information, please see the Index here or visit the Citizens Commercial Banking website.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions, with $165.7 billion in assets as of December 31, 2019. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,700 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products, and asset finance. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.