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The economy is Yellowstone County, MT is stable and growing. Unemployment is running in the 5.5% range, a good 2% below national average. Employment base is stable in Billings, which is the regional medical center and also home to three oil refineries. Retail growth is accelerating. Housing values increased approximately 6% on average and housing rental market is good. I expect these trends to continue into 2013.
New vehicle loans were surprisingly strong in December. CD rates are highly competitive in our market. Short/medium term mortgage demand is steady. Expecting comparable overall loan growth for 2013 compared to 2012. Asset quality overall remains strong. Strong rate competition for loans overall.
Travis Kasten, CEO
Service First FCU ($126M, Sioux Falls, SD)
Our real estate department continues to run at 100% capacity of 45 loan originations and with a loan volume of $5M on a monthly basis. We have hired an additional loan officer to increase our capacity as our demand remains strong and has incrementally increased month-over-month since January 2010. Our consumer lending demands remains flat and has for 2010 - 2011; however, our 2013 YTD is up 20%. Indirect lending demand continues to decrease and has since 2011; we anticipate 2013 to flatten out. Our business lending demand continues to increase year-over-year and increased to $1.1M in new loan originations in 2012. Our 2013 forecast is to increase to $2M with $1M in SBA Loans.
Loan demand is strong, particularly for mortgages and auto loans. Our membership growth for 2012 was 17% and we anticipate it to be even higher in 2013. The unemployment rate in Minnesota is about 5% and dropping and home values have increased 10% since 2011. Overall, the economic picture looks pretty good!
The overall economy in North Dakota is booming with agriculture and oil leading the way. Housing markets are strong to very strong throughout the state mostly attributed to the increase in demand because of the oil boom. Even though the oil is geographically limited to the western third of ND, the entire state has seen strong housing demand because of people not directly involved in oil production wanting to leave the "oil patch". Increased traffic, crime, and population growth have pushed many locals to move east.
At a time when many states are trying to makeup for budget shortfalls, ND has a slightly different problem, but a problem nonetheless in dealing with many new issues brought about by the oil boom. The state government continues to be dominated with things such as how to appropriately allocate the $1 to $2 billion dollar surplus, lower taxes, update infrastructure in the oil producing areas, deal with major populations shifts, increase drug use and crime, and ultra low unemployment (i.e. shortage of workers).
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