By Ted Schmidt
PNC Regional President for Youngstown
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Viewed through a purely economic lens, 2023 was a volatile year that defied expectations and ended on a surprisingly positive note.
Consider the following:
• The U.S. inflation rate was 6.4% in January but declined to a much more palatable 3.4% by December.
• In the first quarter of 2023, real GDP had increased 1.7% from one year earlier. But, by the third quarter growth was up to 2.9%.
• The job market remained solid throughout the year, with average monthly job growth of 225,000 despite the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in 2022 and 2023 at the most aggressive pace in more than 40 years.
In its final meeting of 2023, the Fed held interest rates steady for the third consecutive time and indicated it may cut rates three times in 2024.
• On Dec. 13, the Dow Industrial Average hit an all-time high, with the S&P 500 nearing its high mark.
Even with all this positive momentum, we are wise to temper expectations for 2024. PNC economists have indicated they expect a modest decline in consumer spending in the second half of 2024 as the U.S. economy enters a mild recession, primarily as a result of the Fed’s efforts to bring inflation down to its target rate of 2%.
Ups and downs in the economy, such as those described above, are inevitable. That’s why it’s vital that people trust that their bank provides the financial tools and knowledge they need to meet their personal and business goals.
As one of the nation’s strongest banks, PNC offers exceptional technology, cutting-edge products and services. For example, PNC offers an industry-leading treasury management platform composed of innovative solutions coupled with extensive practical experience that can help businesses optimize their processes and operations.
In addition, we work hard to help our retail clients get a clear picture of where they are today while helping them plan for the future they desire. Through our coast-to-coast network, which includes 2,300 branches, 60,000 PNC and partner ATMs, thousands of highly skilled bankers, and telephonic, online, and mobile banking channels, we empower our retail clients with the solutions they need to move forward.
No matter the financial need, all of us at PNC are focused on helping residents of the Mahoning Valley achieve their goals.