Looking for more economic indicators for your Memphis business in 2019? Get tickets for our State of the Economy breakfast at the Memphis Botanic Garden on Thursday, February 13.

Get inside the heads of Memphis consumers

By Steve Weaver, Senior Loan Officer at Paragon Bank

Consumer sentiment matters

Seventy percent of every U.S. dollar is generated from personal spending. This number will only continue to rise during the holiday season, and it’s projected to keep rising well into the new year. Historically, personal consumption naturally fluctuates year-to-year, but the number has made modest strides in the last 50 years. At merely 60 percent in 1978, personal consumption grows as a percentage of the GDP. Now, it fluctuates between 65 to 75 percent.

2018 will likely see the higher end of this spectrum. With the economy near full-employment, overall consumer sentiment is the highest it has been since 2000. And it’s easy to see why consumers feel better about their finances.

More Americans have steady employment. Workers across all industries finally feel that they have job security and opportunities for career and wage growth. In general, people are also finally recovering from the effects of the Great Recession. Since 2007-2008 when our economy was at its lowest, it has gradually strengthened over the last few years, and consumers have recovered losses on investments (e.g., real estate).

Positive employment outlook

2018 has been a great year for employment opportunities, and consumers are taking note. Respondents of the study felt that it is overall easier to find a job, though they still think landing those jobs requires dedication. As the economy continues to rise, consumer spending power has grown, and this means that more consumers feel they have the financial freedom to purchase homes, cars and other big-ticket items. With increasing wages, consumers are taking the opportunity to upgrade amenities to meet demands for better quality of living.

Solid expectations for the economic future of Memphis

Research has shown that additional economic growth is projected for 2019, but at slower rate. Many believe the benefit of recent tax cuts will absorb some of the past years’ headwinds and continue to provide strength going into the new year. Personal, local and nationwide economic paths for 2019 seem bright.

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a bank, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.

For more information about Paragon Bank, please call (901) 273-2900 or visit bankparagon.com.