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Nearly half of surveyed bank executives do not predict economic double-dip

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The majority of bank executives expect current economic conditions to last for the next six months, according to a national survey done by Grant Thornton in conjunction with Bank Director magazine. The survey found 60% of respondents believe the national economy will remain the same, up from 44% the last time the survey was issued in May. One quarter of the 231 respondents said they expect the economy to get worse, while only 15% expect it to improve. Despite the somewhat pessimistic results, 49% of bank CEOs and CFOs do not believe there will be double-dip recession. 35% of those who do see another recession believe it will be caused by high levels of government spending and 35% believe it will be caused by high levels of unemployment. Twenty-three percent of executives surveyed said they plan to increase the number of people they employ in the next six months. This mimics sentiment found in the Business Roundtable's third-quarter CEO index, which found 31% of CEOs plan to hire. Only 17% of executives in the Grant Thorton survey planned to decrease their workforce and 60% planned to keep it the same. The view of the economic conditions in the Business Roundtable survey was more positive than the former survey, with 66% of respondents saying they expected sales to rise over the next quarter. However, this is down from 79% the quarter prior. The Grant Thorton/Bank Director survey respondents are bank CEOs and CFOs. Small banks represented 62% of the demographic and large banks represented 37%. Write to Christine Ricciardi.

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