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The economic news for the first quarter of 2008 is not encouraging. The subprime mortgage crisis remains prominent, home values continue to trend downward, new housing starts are down, gas prices are soaring, consumer spending is down and consumer confidence is ebbing.

The credit union industry is facing field of membership challenges from the banking industry in Utah and Kansas, and formidable bank lobbying efforts have delayed the CU Regulatory Relief Act. Some credit unions are also struggling with an increase in home foreclosures and auto loan delinquencies, while loan activity is decreasing. That drop in loan activity is far more ominous than short-term foreclosures and delinquencies.

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