Consumer sentiment has been improving, but the economy still has weakness, a Northwest Indiana banker said.
Horizon Bank executive David Rose said mortgage lending was was a bright spot for the banking sector, since the housing market has been heating up. Interests rates have been rising, but are still at historic lows and have not risen enough to affect the housing market, he said.
Economic gains however have not put a significant dent in the unemployment remains, which remains at 7.5 percent nationally.
“The economic gains need to filter down to the unemployment rate, which seems to be lagging,” Rose said.
People are often working part-time jobs, such as in the hotel and hospitality industries, and don’t have as much disposable income as when they were working full-time, Rose said.
But consumer confidence is still coming back and has improved by 11 points since December, Rose said. The question is when that will lead small business owners to make more capital investments.