Citizens announced today that continued economic recovery from the shock of COVID-19 kept the past quarter’s national Citizens Business Conditions Index™ (CBCI) in upbeat territory, with another healthy reading of 53.3. This compares with the fourth quarter reading of 56.0. A reading above 50 is considered expansionary.
Better-than-expected vaccination rates buoyed the outlook for many Americans, while a newly signed fiscal relief package provided additional stimulus checks, as well as support for the unemployed and for state governments. These developments helped to boost business activity and put the recovery on more stable footing, based on CBCI indicators. This momentum extended across both manufacturing and services sectors, though mixed signs in employment and new-business applications underscored the uneven progress across the economy.
“Positive vaccination trends have been really powerful in facilitating the normalization of consumer activity, providing a big boost to economic activity. The fiscal package signed in March was a further step towards recovery,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens.
The Index is derived from a number of underlying components, many of which improved during the first quarter. As of 1Q 2021, the methodology was modified, with new-business applications and initial jobless claims replacing the wage growth and employment components. The changes were designed to increase timeliness and adjust for the impact of month-to-month trends across the quarterly period.
- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Indexes both rose for the quarter, helping to buoy the Citizens Index.
- Initial jobless claims showed periods of weakness, though the trendline was improving by the end of the first quarter, and new-business applications were flat.
- Companies in the healthcare sector led performance for the quarter, according to the bank’s proprietary business activity data. The Index also indicated strong performance from telecommunications companies, government-sector businesses and consumer goods businesses.
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.
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About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $187.2 billion in assets as of March 31, 2021. 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 3,000 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.