New and existing home sales continue to decline

Existing home sales dropped 6.6 percent in February after two months of gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. New home sales dropped 18.2 percent in February to 775,000 from January’s revised rate of 948,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing development. [Continue]

Main Street economy perks up in central states

Rows of soy plants in a field

The Rural Mainstreet Index for March soared to a record high 71.9, up from February’s solid 53.8, the fifth time in the last half year it’s been above growth neutral. Two-thirds of bank CEOs responding to the survey said their local economies were growing, and farmland and equipment prices also showed positive signs [Continue]

Bremer continues DEI push

Minnesota’s Bremer Bank has continued its push to improve racial equity, announcing several promotions and new hires. [Continue]

New York state banker named ICBA Chair

Robert Fisher was elevated to chair of the Independent Community Bankers of America today in a virtual event; the association’s annual convention originally was planned to take place in Hawaii. Fisher, a fifth generation banker, is president and CEO of Tioga Bank in Spencer, N.Y. [Continue]

PPP may indicate expanded community bank business model

Community bankers played a leading role in delivering Paycheck Protection Program loans during the last 12 months, and Noah Wilcox said he believes banks like his Grand Rapids State Bank and Minnesota Lakes Bank will be increasingly called on to partner with the federal government on crucial stimulus programs.  [Continue]