WASHINGTON-Banks are the number one industry in the U.S. by profits, according to statistics from the American Petroleum Institute as reported by USA Today. In defense of its profits following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the oil industry pointed to its profits over the last five years in contrast to other industries. The oil and natural gas industry brought in 5.7 cents per dollar of sales between July 2000 and July 2005. Several industries’ income outpaced the oil companies, but taking the top spot were the banks, which earned 17.0 cents on every dollar of sales. That ranking beat out pharmaceuticals at 16.2 cents, real estate at 10.7 cents, health care at 8.0 cents, insurance at 7.9 cents, and consumer durables at 6.7 cents. The banking industry has been attacking credit unions for cutting into their profits through rapid growth by leveraging their tax-exemption.

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