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Vaccine Optimism Boosts 4Q20 Citizens Business Conditions Index™

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·3 min read
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The national Citizens Business Conditions Index™ posted a second consecutive quarter of gains as optimism fueled by COVID-19 vaccine announcements and increased election certainty began to outweigh concerns about spiking pandemic cases.

The Index rose modestly to 61.4 in the final quarter of 2020, up from 61.2 at the end of the third quarter, showing a continuing rebound after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic put downward pressure on the index earlier in 2020.

Some sectors continued to fare better than others, with this quarter’s report showing strength in the financial and energy sectors.

"The fourth quarter was a real turning point. With the vaccine news and a clear outcome for the presidential election, we saw a lot more confidence about the future among business leaders," said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens. "The manufacturing sector has been strong and the overall economy has shown resiliency since the middle of the second quarter last year."

"The first quarter of 2021 has already seen major news events in Washington, D.C. and retail trading volatility shaking Wall Street," added Bedikian. "As our M&A Outlook also recently noted, we are seeing a healthy environment for corporate deal-making spurred by the vaccine rollout and anticipated tax policy changes."

The Index is derived from a number of underlying components, many of which improved during the fourth quarter.

  • The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index rose sharply for the quarter, helping to buoy the Citizens Index, while the Non-Manufacturing Index dipped.

  • Employment increased overall during the fourth quarter despite a disappointing jobs report for December. Wage growth was flat.

  • Proprietary measures of business activity in the fourth quarter among Citizens’ more than 7,000 clients across the United States were down slightly.

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 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 website.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $183.3 billion in assets as of December 31, 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.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210205005053/en/

Contacts

Frank Quaratiello
617.543.5810
frank.quaratiello@citizensbank.com