Research Summary Report On Huntington Bank's December 2012 Midwest Economic Index

Huntington Bank’s (NASDAQ: HBAN; first survey of consumers in its Midwest markets, the newly created Midwest Economic Index, reveals cautious post-election optimism about the U.S. economy in 2013 entering the year-end holiday season.

Although just under 50 percent of consumers participating in the Huntington Midwest Economic Index said they think the economy will be better next year, the respondents all of whom live in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Western Pennsylvania or West Virginia indicate a planned uptick in 2013 spending on vacations and home improvement. The survey was conducted in an area of the country that has outpaced the national economic recovery in terms of aggregate employment.

The survey, conducted in mid-November, also revealed most consumers in Huntington’s markets will spend as much or more on holiday purchases this year compared with 2011.

“Huntington Bank launched the Midwest Economic Index to give our business and consumer customers the local economic information they need to plan for 2013,” said Steve Steinour, Huntington chairman, president and CEO. “The survey confirms our analysis that the economy is slowly recovering and that consumers are ready to spend more discretionary dollars.”

According to the Index:
  • More than one-half (52 percent) of Midwest consumers plan 2013 home improvement projects with the majority paid for in cash – up from 37 percent who completed home improvement projects in 2012. The average budget amount for 2013 is $5,200.
  • Three in four (75 percent) of Midwest consumers plan vacations away from home in 2013, up from 63 percent in 2012. The average budget amount for 2013 is $3,200. More than 60 percent said they’ll pay up front with cash.
  • As much as 70 percent of Midwest consumers plan to spend as much or more on 2012 holiday purchases as last year. The average budget amount for holiday purchases this year is $959.
  • More than 70 percent of Midwest consumers plan to spend the same or more in 2013 on clothing, dining out and entertainment.

While Midwest consumers are in the mood to spend more on some items, the majority continue to defer major purchases. More than 60 percent said they would not purchase or lease a new car in 2013.

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