Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Associated Banc-Corp. buying The First National Bank in Staunton: Associated Banc-Corp. of Green Bay, Wisconsin, is buying First Staunton Bancshares Inc. and its subsidiary, The First National Bank in Staunton, for $76.3 million.

The deal is set to close in the first quarter of 2020. First National Bank in Staunton's chief operations officer and director Gina Lotter and chief lending officer Brian Ury will join Associated Bank.

Associated Banc-Corp has total assets of $33 billion and First Staunton Bancshares has $543 million in assets. Associated's bank subsidiary, Associated Bank, has more than 1 million customers in eight states, and The First National Bank in Staunton has 30,000 customers.

U.S. economy grew more slowly in 2018: The government says the U.S. economy grew more slowly in 2018 than it previously estimated, downgrading its estimate from 3% to 2.5%. President Donald Trump had frequently boasted of the 3% growth figure as evidence that his policies invigorated the economy.

The Commerce Department lowered its estimate of growth from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018 mainly because businesses spent less on buildings, equipment and software than it had earlier thought.

The department made the change based on more comprehensive data as part of its annual revisions to gross domestic product, or GDP, the broadest measure of the nation's output of goods and services. The revisions cover the five years from 2014 through 2018.

The Commerce Department also reported Friday that the economy expanded at a modest 2.1% annual rate in the April-June quarter, down from 3.1% in the first three months of the year. Consumers spent at a healthy pace, while businesses cut back on their investment spending.

Overall, the changes don't significantly alter the broader trajectory of the economy. Growth picked up in 2017 and 2018 after a sluggish 2016, spurred by stronger overseas growth, increased government spending and the Trump administration's tax cuts. …

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