Fidelity Bank announces results of 2023 Economic Survey
Cost of living, inflation identified as top concerns for the year
(Leominster, Mass.)—Fidelity Bank recently announced the results of its 2023 Economic Survey, providing an overview of how more than 200 businesses and more than 500 consumers perceive the state and regional economy over the next 12 months. For the past ten years, Fidelity Bank has offered an Economic Survey as a way to help bring clarity to the business community so they can move forward with confidence throughout the coming year.
While consumers and businesses are very worried about the potential impact of a recession in 2023, concerns about inflation and the overall cost of living jumped considerably from 2022 as the top threats for both businesses and consumers, followed by fuel and energy costs, and increased interest rates.
For businesses, the availability of skilled labor remains a top challenge, while government effectiveness was identified as a top threat for consumers. Survey respondents are cautiously optimistic about the overall economy with 25 percent of consumers and 24 percent of businesses confident about the economy, down from 34 percent and 39 percent in 2022, respectively.
Workforce development is top of mind for businesses across the region, with the year’s spending plans focused heavily on new hires, and training and equipment, although data shows a more cautious approach with hiring over the next 12 months. While job security, advancement, and income are holding steady, consumer households have a heightened need for seeking better value on purchases, reducing spending, and saving more. Approximately 45 percent of consumers expect their family income to increase over the next year, while 17 percent expect a decrease. Consumer spending patterns are consistent with 2022 and 2021, with price and value, online shopping, convenience, supporting local business and safety protocols as top issues associated with shopping habits.
“The annual Economic Forecast aligns with our LifeDesign brand promise as the report provides a current barometer to help our businesses leaders and consumers understand how our regional economy is doing so they can make thoughtful financial decisions,” said Joseph Silva, Chief Lending Officer, Fidelity Bank. “By providing this information, our clients, family members, neighbors and friends can adjust their plans accordingly to ensure they are prepared for anything that may occur in the months ahead.”
To view the Fidelity Bank 2023 Economic Survey in its entirety, visit https://www.fidelitybankonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/2023-Econ-Outlook-Handout-and-Slides.pdf.
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About Fidelity Bank:
Founded in 1888, Fidelity Bank is one of the strongest independent community banks in Central and Eastern Massachusetts. Celebrating its 20-year anniversary as the brand promise to the community, Fidelity Bank’s unique LifeDesign approach to banking provides the care and clarity needed to make informed decisions with confidence. The Bank offers a range of personal and business banking solutions to clients in 13 full-service banking centers in Leominster, Worcester, Fitchburg, Needham, Gardner, Shirley, Barre, Millbury, Paxton, Princeton, and Winchendon. The Bank has consistently earned a “5 Star” rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm. Fidelity Bank was the only bank in Central and Western Massachusetts recognized as one of Forbes “America’s Best Banks in Each State 2022,” in addition to being voted Worcester Telegram & Gazette Best Financial Services in Central Massachusetts and placing on the Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work list six times. As of December 31, 2022, the bank had total assets of approximately $1.4 billion. For more information, visit fidelitybankonline.com.