Is the economy starting to stabilize? Some statistics say yes, some are questionable. I figure one quick way to take a quick pulse reading is to look at bank closures so far in 2011.

To date, we’re sitting at 18 banks that have been closed. Last year at this time we had only 16 banks that had been closed. That’s basically a wash, but it does indicate that things just might not be all that rosy.

What’s interesting is that there are some new players in the game. Whereas we got used to seeing banks closing in many states that had housing problems, on this year’s list so far is a bank in South Carolina, one in Oklahoma, one in North Carolina and one in New Mexico. Not that banks haven’t closed, but it’s rare. South Carolina had 3 banks close last year, all in the same week. Oklahoma only had one bank closing, New Mexico had 2 close and North Carolina didn’t have a single bank close.

Unfortunately, Georgia is leading the way with 4 banks closed, and that doesn’t bode well for their market. On the other hand, Arizona has only had one bank close so far this year, and Nevada hasn’t had any close. Maybe they’ve finally come close to hitting bottom in their housing market and are ready to rebound.

The best thing so far, at least in my estimate, is that the high numbers of banks that were predicted to be possibly closing fell way short. And the collapse of commercial lending banks didn’t happen either; at least not yet. If things continue as they were predicted to for 2011, maybe we’ll see our way out of most of our financial difficulties by the end of the year.