Colo. bankers confident in local economy

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Despite tighter bank lending standards and loan demand declines, Colorado bankers expect little change in total bank lending next year and even growth in commercial lending.

The measure of optimism comes from a Colorado Bankers Association survey of perceptions of business conditions by several hundred Colorado bankers between Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, 2007.

The bankers also predict a decline in long term – and especially short term – interest rates, and growth in loan delinquencies and bankruptcies.

And, while they expect a continued weakening U.S. economy, they expect the Colorado economy to remain stable, even though both will be impacted by the low dollar, high energy prices, the credit crunch, low home values and high consumer debt.

Of those factors, low home values were seen as having the largest potential impact on the Colorado economy, while the credit crunch will have the biggest impact nationally.

During the next six months, more than 60 percent of the Colorado bankers expect the U.S. economy to weaken slightly, and a little more than half believe the Colorado economy will have virtually no change.