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M&T survey finds optimism on economy

Upticks in employment growth and output in late 2011 make the ongoing economic recovery appear more sustainable, according to M&T Bank’s new Economic Outlook Survey.

The Buffalo–based bank conducted the Internet survey of 596 business customers throughout its footprint in January and February.

About one-third of survey respondents expect additional hiring in the next months, compared with 5 percent expecting job cuts. And 46 percent of mid-market customers believe the economy has improved over the past six months, up from 21 percent in July.

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About half of the respondents in commercial real estate said the economy has improved as well, up from 28 percent in July.

Among all respondents, 52 percent expect U.S. economic growth to speed up in the next six months, compared with 26 percent in July, according to M&T.

Gary Keith, M&T’s regional economist for upstate New York, expects the Syracuse region to continue a slow, but steady rebound driven by hiring in the education and health care sectors. Keith feels the Binghamton region’s main growth driver is its manufacturing sector, but noted cuts in defense spending could hurt job growth there, according to M&T.

M&T Bank, has $77.9 billion in assets and 780 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Ontario, Canada.

M&T is the leading bank in the Syracuse–area deposit market with 30 branch offices, more than $2.2 billion in deposits, and a market share of more than 21.2 percent. It is number two in the Utica–Rome market with 13 branches, more than $615 million in deposits, and a market share of about 16.8 percent.

M&T also leads the Binghamton–area market with a deposit market share of 48.7 percent, 16 branches, and more than $1.2 billion in deposits, according to statistics as of June 30 from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Contact Tampone at ktampone@cnybj.com

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