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For the first time in many years, the State of Michigan and its community banks have experienced a relatively stable year. Enthusiasm within the State, and specifically the banking community, is improving despite the trepid times in the state’s largest municipality. When compared to national statistics, the Michigan economy was one of the very first to be hit with the recession. However, both the State and our banks have displayed a fundamental improvement in health over the past couple of years, which has reopened the door for M&A activity in the state. From an economic standpoint, both unemployment and payrolls are stabilized and forecasts are calling for household incomes to grow over the next five years above the national average. From the banks’ perspective, we have had no bank failures since Fidelity Bank in March 2012, and banking fundamentals (credit quality, capital ratios, and profitability) all have shown steady improvements.

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