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Fifth Third and UNC Kenan Institute Launch “Empowering American Cities” Initiative

Program Delivers Advanced, Local Economic Insights and Trusted Advice that Positions Leaders and Business Owners for Growth

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Fifth Third (NASDAQ: FITB) today announced the launch of Empowering American Cities, the outcome of a collaborative relationship with the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Empowering American Cities delivers relevant, local economic information tailored for business leaders looking to grow their operations.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Jeff Korzenik, Fifth Third Commercial Bank chief economist (Photo: Business Wire)

Jeff Korzenik, Fifth Third Commercial Bank chief economist (Photo: Business Wire)

“Midsize cities are the heart and soul of our footprint. Unfortunately, there is limited data available to understand why some cities succeed as others fall behind,” said Tim Spence, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Fifth Third. “Empowering American Cities will deliver unique economic insights that put data at the center of decision-making, empowering business owners as they drive investment in their companies, their communities and ultimately our entire country.”

Empowering American Cities is built on proprietary data from the Kenan Institute, part of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. The Institute created Extended Metropolitan Areas (EMAs) as a designation for U.S. areas that are connected in economically meaningful ways. The EMAs account for nearly 90% of U.S. gross domestic product and encompass the 150 largest metropolitan areas from New York City, with its $2.5 trillion economic output, to cities such as Wilmington, North Carolina with its own unique economic and industrial traits.

“Pairing the Kenan Institute’s research capabilities and economic expertise with Fifth Third’s insights from its on-the-ground work, this collaborative effort will provide timely measurement of economic conditions, to help determine which policies and business practices are working – and which are not – for business owners, communities and municipalities across the country,” said Gerald Cohen, UNC Kenan Institute chief economist.

Empowering American Cities provides individually created dashboards, based on the Kenan Institute research for all EMAs. Business owners can view information side-by-side allowing for direct comparisons of fiscal characteristics and other economic health indicators. These metrics can help accelerate business decisions that drive sustainable growth.

“Through this relationship, the Kenan Institute and Fifth Third Bank will advance information and knowledge about America’s local economies,” said Jeff Korzenik, Fifth Third Commercial Bank chief economist. “There is a vital, continuing need to understand the economy at a scale that is meaningful to local businessowners and those driving communities forward, and we intend to meet this need head on.”

Together, Kenan Institute economists and Fifth Third Bank leaders developed Regional Economic Snapshots for 30 select areas analyzing drivers that power those communities forward. The Snapshots review developing indicators for labor supply, consumer demand and embedded local growth characteristics.

In the coming months, public events in select markets will feature the Empowering American Cities economist team sharing an in-depth, local economic outlook. For a full schedule, see Empowering American Cities. As the initiative expands, additional research, whitepapers and resources will become available.

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third is a bank that’s as long on innovation as it is on history. Since 1858, we’ve been helping individuals, families, businesses and communities grow through smart financial services that improve lives. Our list of firsts is extensive, and it’s one that continues to expand as we explore the intersection of tech-driven innovation, dedicated people and focused community impact. Fifth Third is one of the few U.S.-based banks to have been named among Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies® for several years. With a commitment to taking care of our customers, employees, communities and shareholders, our goal is not only to be the nation’s highest performing regional bank, but to be the bank people most value and trust.

Fifth Third Bank, National Association, is a federally chartered institution. Fifth Third Bancorp is the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, and its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Investor information and press releases can be viewed at


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