WICHITA, Kan. (11/7/08)--Kansas credit unions are in a good position to help members with credit and other needs, a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) economist told a group of credit union executives in that state. Mike Schenk, CUNA chief economist, addressed 40 credit union executives Wednesday at the Kansas Credit Union Association’s Economic Outlook in Wichita (The Wichita Eagle Nov. 6). Schenk told the group he expects housing inventories to remain high nationwide, housing values to continue to fall, and the U.S. economic slump to continue into 2009. However, through the first half of 2008, Kansas credit unions experienced faster savings growth and loan growth than credit unions nationwide. Kansas credit unions also have had higher earnings and net worth, although those measures are starting to slightly decline, Schenk told the group. “You are a lot different than the rest of the credit union world,” Schenk told the group. The reason is that Kansas was not affected by the burst of the housing bubble, and the state did not experience much negative impact from the subprime lending meltdown, he added. “While the world is contracting, we are growing,” Schenk told the credit union leaders, and that is why credit unions are well-positioned to help members obtain credit with other needs. This, in turn, will lead to a strengthening for the credit unions’ relationships with members, he said.