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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Credit unions in Pennsylvania interested in accessing information on the latest economic and market trends and learning how Pennsylvania credit unions stack up against national credit union behavior are now able to get their hands on the latest data through a new member publication, Pennsylvania Profile, put out by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. The report, which is being distributed quarterly, and is based on NCUA call report data, compares credit union statistics on a state and national level, by asset size and as a five-year trend analysis, using information from a variety of resources. Mike Wishnow, svp of communications said PCUA decided to publish Pennsylvania Profile “because it was needed. There is peer-to-peer information out there for credit unions on the macro level, but there was nothing Pennsylvania specific and credit union movement specific. So there was a need for us to know about trends and to have certain information for when we do our planning and for our own use to provide as a service to our members so they can have the information available for when they do their planning.” PCUA has contracted with and is paying CUNA to compile the statistics and do the analysis, which is written by CUNA’s VP of Economics Mike Schenk in the association’s Madison, Wis. office. PCUA has the editorial rights to determine what information in the statistics they want stressed, and Wishnow says the emphasis can change quarterly based on the statistics and what the “hot issues” are. The first edition of Pennsylvania Profile is based on fourth quarter 2003 data. Wishnow explained that PCUA tried putting the publication out sooner, “but it was too heavy on numbers. The key to success of the piece is to be able to whittle down the numbers to a manageable amount and give more of a broad overview, but not get mired down in detail to the extent that it’s too intimidating and credit unions don’t get anything out of it. We want non-economists to find it useful, then if people want more economic data the numbers are there.” Some of the highlights of the first edition of Pennsylvania Profile show: * loan growth at Pennsylvania credit unions continues to improve. The 8.0% loan portfolio growth as of the fourth quarter 2003 is a slightly higher than the 7.3% in the 12 months ending September 2003, and nearly double the approximate 4.0% growth recorded in 2001 and 2002. An improving labor market and continued low market interest rates should help loan growth continue to improve in 2004; * Overall savings growth in Pennsylvania continues to decline. The 7.8% increase in 2003 is “notably lower” than the 9.6% increase in the 12 months ending September 2003 and “substantially lower” than the double-digit growth seen in 2001 and 2002. This slow-down in savings growth will likely lead to higher loan-to-share and capital ratios. Liquidity though should remain strong; * Pennsylvania CU membership increased slightly in 2003, ending at 3.380 million, compared to 3.371 million in 2002. Membership remains equal to 27% of the state’s population. Maintaining or increasing membership growth rates will be a key challenge for the state’s CUs in the coming months. Some of the other Pennsylvania credit union-specific trends that were assessed from the data concern: home equity, first and second mortgage loan growth; member business loan growth; total assets and asset quality; and job growth. -

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