DUBLIN, Ohio (4/2/08)--Ohio credit unions are weathering a storm of bad economic news, according to the Ohio Credit Union League's Fourth Quarter/Year-End 2007 Performance Report. "Everyone knows that there are direct and indirect implications for Ohio credit unions with real estate markets tanking, ballooning foreclosures and struggling auto sales," Dave Shoup, league director of regulatory advocacy, told the league's eLumination Newsletter (March 26). "Yet, overall, credit unions are hanging tough, and their basic fundamentals are sound. This is not to say, however, that a few individual credit unions are hit harder than others," he told News Now. The report indicated that Ohio credit unions' mortgage originations experienced strong growth with a 9.5% increase during 2007, despite a weak market where home sales fell 19%. Real estate delinquencies remained at a manageable 0.91%. Total auto loans outstanding fell 4.3% after a 2.5% slowdown in national auto sales. On the deposit side, cost of funds rose as members continued shifting deposits to higher-yielding accounts. Despite the economic trends, Ohio's capital levels remained a very strong 12.6%, and mergers and liquidations slowed compared with recent years (although these are expected to increase in 2008). Total income for credit unions in the state rose 7% as loans re-priced and non-interest income rose.