The strength of the economic recovery pushed this past quarter’s national Citizens Business Conditions Index (CBCI) to 57, its highest reading in three years and up five points compared to last year. A reading above 50 is considered expansionary.

“What we see at this stage of the recovery is strong momentum – the payoff of vaccinations, of the ongoing power of fiscal and monetary support, and of the growing readiness to return to normal activities,” Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens, said. “Inflation is worth watching and the verdict is still out on whether the inflation we have seen is transitory or beginning to surge. We are closely monitoring supply chain and labor data as well as the impacts of pent-up post-pandemic demand. Barring exogenous factors, the U.S. economy seems poised to continue its steady recovery through the second half of 2021.”

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

  • The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Indexes both rose for the quarter, helping to lift the Citizens Index.
  • Initial jobless claims dropped in another positive sign while new-business applications were flat.
  • Utilities and telecommunications companies led a strong quarter overall for businesses, according to the bank’s proprietary corporate activity data.

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. For more information about this past quarter’s index, please visit here.