The second quarter of 2020 began with many businesses reeling from the shutdown of the global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most economic indicators posted disastrous results while the U.S. government and Federal Reserve rushed to enact legislation or policies to soften some of the worst impacts of the crisis.
By quarter end, the Citizens Business Conditions Index™ showed surprising stability (decreasing only from 60.8 to 60.3) as those unprecedented actions have reversed the U.S. economy’s trajectory.
There is still considerable uncertainty about the third quarter and beyond, especially as COVID-19 cases surge in several states, but the end of the second quarter showed marked improvement over March and April.
Some sectors have been harder hit than others and some businesses may not survive the downturn, but the recovery we are seeing has featured more ups than downs so far.
“The pandemic-induced shutdown of the global economy was one of the most sudden drops we have ever seen in business activity and employment, but the unprecedented response by the government and the Federal Reserve was just as swift,” said Tony Bedikian, Head of Global Markets for Citizens Commercial Banking. “With that stimulus, we saw a steady turnaround in markets. There is still a lot of uncertainty – and that will likely continue until there is a vaccine – but the government and ‘Fed’ acted quickly to try to soften the economic blow and help bridge companies and consumers to the other side of this crisis.”
The Index is derived from a number of underlying components, most of which improved or held steady over the course of the second quarter.
- The Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) were up for the quarter after a steep drop-off in April as many businesses reopened in May or June. Some of the uptick in manufacturing can be attributed to manufacturers repurposing their operations to meet demand for pandemic-related products.
- Employment decreased overall during the second quarter, but wage growth ticked up as the pandemic tended to result in the loss of more lower-wage jobs.
- Proprietary measures of business activity among Citizens Commercial Banking’s more than 7,000 clients across the United States were basically flat with some sectors improving and others still languishing.
The Index draws from public information and proprietary corporate data to establish a unique view of business conditions across the country. An index value greater than 50 indicates expansion and points to positive business activity 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 great ideas 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 $179.9 billion in assets as of June 30, 2020. 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 1,000 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 a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.