Julie Stackhouse, senior vice president of banking supervision, points out that while there has been great progress by community banks since the end of the banking crisis, the news is still mixed. Earnings have rebounded, but pressure on net interest margins remains a concern. Still, there is a role for well-managed banks. Those banks planning for the challenges will be best positioned to survive them.
U.S. agriculture has been booming in recent years with record farm incomes and double-digit percentage increases in cropland prices. However, farm income projections suggest a flattening, if not a reversal, of these trends. 2013 may prove to be a peak year, as analysts expect the agriculture sector to experience lower commodity prices, normal crop production and lower farm income over the next several years.