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M&T Bank Survey of Upstate Businesses Represents Optimism of a Flourishing Economy

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M & T Bank

An M&T Bank survey of Upstate New York businesses and manufacturers seemingly reflects the increase of U.S. GDP announced last week of 4.1% during the second quarter of 2018.  Ahead of that news, the M&T survey was conducted in May and found that 57% of Upstate businesses anticipated the economy would continue to improve.  However, Manager of Small Business Banking, Lee DeAmicis of Syracuse said that these businesses wanted to be certain of the fate of the economy.

“My customers, they wanted to see the proof of what was going on in the economy,” DeAmicis said. They are seeing the orders pick up. They are seeing activity pick up, and they are reacting by expanding and looking to hire people. So, we are seeing some good economic activity here.”

Forty-five percent of Upstate businesses say they intend to spend more money on their capital expenditures.  DeAmicis firmly believes in this data, having heard murmurings firsthand.

“There are periods of time where there is not that optimism,” DeAmicis said. “They are not spending, so we don’t see the new factories getting built and the expansions going on. So, I’m close to the field, I have the anecdotal stories. For me, what was impressive was that these survey results really mirrored what I have been hearing on the street from all of my people.”

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Credit provided photo / M & T Bank
A second quarter M & T Bank survey of Upstate businesses reflects the economy's surge.

There are many variables that will determine the economy’s future.  Sixty-five percent of the businesses polled expressed that it is difficult to find qualified applicants to fill positions. DeAmicis says the bank’s Upstate clients are experiencing a tightening job market. 

“They can’t find talented people, DeAmicis said. “For things like, again, back to manufacturing, they have machines that cost $250,000-$500,000. They want to make sure they have a qualified person working that.”

If U.S. interest rates continue to climb, he adds that some businesses will not be able to afford expansions.  However, things remain positive for now in Central New York.  Two of M&T’s manufacturing clients intend to expand their warehousing.  A restaurant also plans to open a brand new location and hire new employees.

Click here to review M&T's Banking Economic Outlook Survey from the second quarter of 2018.