Iowa Weathered Recession, But Now Battles Drought
The financial crisis that ripped through most of the country during the past four years had left Iowa virtually unscathed. Earlier this summer, unemployment was relatively low, home prices were stable and farm incomes were on the rise. Iowa credit unions reported one of the nation’s highest return on average assets during first-quarter 2012, according to the NCUA’s Quarterly U.S. Map Review.
But now, with the worst drought since 1936 bearing down on the Hawkeye State, the first quarter’s annualized 112 basis points worth of ROA could quickly evaporate.
As a result, Chief Financial Officer Jim Holle is a little more optimistic.
“The economy of Iowa is primarily agricultural driven,” he said. “To continue to grow, Iowa as a whole will need to be able to attract and support additional and diverse industries. The infrastructure is in place, so it’s now just a matter of being able to communicate the value of the educated workforce and the work ethic of the Iowa population to businesses looking to locate.”