Can macroeconomic fundamentals predict the performance of commercial banks?
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The objective of this thesis is to evaluate the relative significance of macroeconomic fundamentals in predicting the performance of commercial banks in the United States. The performance of commercial banks is measured by the aggregate Return on Average Assets (ROA) of U.S. commercial banks from 1987-2007. I conduct an empirical investigation to explain the relation between macroeconomic fundamentals and commercial banks’ performance, and show how shocks to macroeconomic fundamentals affect forecast of commercial banks’ performance. The empirical analysis is performed using U.S. macroeconomic data and financial data from U.S. commercial banks. The results show that except for gross domestic product, all the macroeconomic fundamentals significantly predict the performance of commercial banks and can therefore be used by policy makers to measure the effect of macroeconomic policy shocks on the condition of the commercial banks.