A special report from Ameriana: it's no longer all bad news about the economy. Pockets of light have been breaking through the media cloud for weeks now. New numbers around employment, business activity and the country's overall financial health have been encouraging. Some experts are saying the recession is all but over, and recovery has begun.
We see brighter economic days ahead. We're pleased to provide this evidence.
Good news across the country.
Stock indexes, consumer confidence, and new home starts are all up. And as of mid-September, unemployment has fallen or held steady in 23 states.
Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke has announced that the recession that began in September, 2008 is "very likely over." A full economic recovery will take time, and for months many Americans will still feel like they're in a recession. But the numbers are telling us that the economy is growing again and consumers, investors, builders and small business owners must agree: Confidence is up among all these groups. (Source: "Fed Chief Says Recession Is 'Very Likely Over'". Stephen Labaton, The New York Times, September 15, 2009)
Good news in our backyard.
Indiana is well-positioned to recover quickly from this recession, says Michael Hicks, an economist with Ball State and the director of BSU's Center for Business & Economic Research. Our state "will pull out of this sooner and more robust than other states in the Midwest," Hicks predicts.
Good news about Ameriana.
Your deposits are safe and secure at Ameriana. And not only because they're insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000. Your money is safe with us because it's our policy to take a steady, disciplined approach to financial soundness, profitability and growth.
Ameriana entered the recession on solid ground. We have had no direct exposure to the subprime mortgage loans that weakened the economy. Our balance sheet remains strong, even in this tough economic climate. Our bank is well capitalized. Core deposits are up, and we continue to make high quality loans.
We owe much of our financial strength to you. You see, when we base decisions on what's best for our customers, we naturally safeguard our stability as a community bank.
We stand beside you now as always. That means we share the economic burden with you. We are taking our losses, as we all must in challenging times. And yet we remain grateful and upbeat, knowing that Ameriana, and its customers, have the strength to weather the storm.
Good news straight from you.
We're creating a new consciousness around personal finances. When credit was easy, a lot of us spent without thinking. Now the credit boom is over and the shock of the recession is tapering off. As consumers, we have an opportunity to re-think the ways we use our money.
It's a chance to decide which things are worth having, and which others we can leave on the rack. Try this: Make a list of your monthly expenditures. Then classify each item using these labels: Basic, Lifestyle, Sanity or Indulgence spending. The point is, everyone's spending is different. If you consider HBO and Showtime an indulgence, you won't mind doing without premium cable. But if watching Curb Your Enthusiasm is what keeps you from going over the edge, you'll decide to cut somewhere else.
We're saving more, and that's good for our future. "Americans are shutting their wallets and building their nest eggs at the fastest pace in 15 years," say Rich Miller and Alison Sider on Bloomberg.com. Ultimately, the resurgence in saving will bring the national economy into better balance and reduce our dependence on foreign countries.
Here at Ameriana, many of you are re-discovering the sense of pride that comes with a little extra money in the bank. And we're inventing new ways to help you save, like our one-of-a-kind Loadable CD.
We're American. And Americans stay strong. U.S. News & World Report observes that "overall, the core U.S. economy is in far better shape than it was in the 1970s recession, with a higher productivity and a better tax and regulatory system. Even though the American economy finally succumbed to the oil shock and the credit crisis in 2008, it held up longer than many predicted, thanks to its deep strengths." (James Pethokoukis, U.S. News & World Report.)
Please join us at Ameriana as we greet the holiday season with our eyes fixed on the horizon. A new day is upon us.