First Niagara's Third Annual Survey Shows More Business Leaders See Pennsylvania Economy Improving Than Not in 2012

Feb 07, 2012, 09:30 ET from First Niagara

BUFFALO, N.Y., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders of private businesses in Pennsylvania are more optimistic than pessimistic about the Pennsylvania economy for 2012 and more of them than in previous years expect to hire more workers and invest in new fixed assets to grow their businesses, according to results from First Niagara's 3rd Annual Survey of Pennsylvania Business Leaders released today.

"While many CEOs are exhibiting similar levels of optimism for 2012 as they did for 2011, they are telling us that they are open for business in Pennsylvania," said Todd Moules, Western Pennsylvania regional president for First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FNFG), the parent company of First Niagara Bank.  "More of them than last year are focused on growing their businesses by increasing their workforces and investing in fixed asset acquisitions."

"The survey results are a very good reflection of what we see our customers dealing with every day across our markets in both eastern and western Pennsylvania," said Robert Kane, Eastern Pennsylvania regional president for First Niagara.  "They are looking to grow their businesses but in a financially realistic way."

Responding to the survey conducted by the Siena College Research Institute were 865 leaders of private businesses with $5 million to $200 million in annual sales.

Results are available at 

ABOUT FIRST NIAGARA  First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank that currently has approximately $33 billion in assets, $19 billion in deposits, more than 330 branches and 5,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit

When First Niagara completes its acquisition of the HSBC branches, expected to occur in the second quarter of 2012, the regional bank will have an enhanced leadership position in the Northeast, with nearly 430 locations, $30 billion in total deposits, $38 billion in assets and more than 6,000 employees serving consumers, businesses and communities across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The transaction will also provide First Niagara with number-one retail market share across Upstate New York, virtually doubling its number of branches in New York State to more than 200, stretching from Buffalo to Albany and down through the Hudson Valley.

SOURCE First Niagara