US Bank CEO Richard Davis said Monday the economy is still encumbered by weak consumer confidence, but he does not expect it, or Europe's sovereign debt problems, to halt economic growth in the U.S.
"I think what we're going to see is we're going to have a very slow recovery, and it will feel like a recession, because it isn't going to be a fast recovery," Davis said at the opening of a new US Bank branch in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
"I think if you look at all the statistics, it will probably be the longest, slowest trajectory out of a downturn," he said. "But I don't expect anything to double dip. I think we'll just see a slow, measured improvement that will take torturously long for all of us to feel good about."
Davis said he doubts that consumers will lead the nation out of the economic slump. Instead, he predicted businesses will likely be the drivers, as they invest more and lower prices of their goods and services to lure consumers back.
He says lines of credit at US Bank expanded by 5 percent over the last 90 days, which he takes as a good sign.
"That's huge. That's $10 billion. So customers are saying, 'I want to have a line of credit. I'm not going to use it; I'm not going to tap it. But I want to have it.'" he said. "And you wouldn't pay to have that open line of credit if you didn't plan to use it eventually. So the behaviors of busineses are showing that they're eventually going to take action."
Meanwhile, US Bank has gained market share of deposits in Minnesota. According to data from the FDIC, the bank still ranks second behind Wells Fargo. But US Bank's market share as of June climbed to 25 percent, up from about 21 percent at the same time last year.
Davis said he expects job gains at the US Bank headquarters in Minneapolis.