Business in brief: Bank reports lower earnings
Idaho Independent Bank this week reported lower earnings for the first quarter, and a decrease in assets.
Net income was $2.1 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $2.6 million, or 40 cents per share, for the same period in 2007.
At the end of the quarter, assets had slipped 3.5 percent to $611.2 million. Deposits and customer repurchase agreements fell 8.8 percent to $507.5 million.
Loans increased 3 percent to $524 million, including those held for sale.
The bank added $300,000 to loan loss reserves, bringing the total to $10.3 million. Charge-offs for the quarter equaled $107,000.
Non-performing assets decreased to $853,000, or 0.14 percent of assets, from $2.8 million, or 0.44 percent of assets, a year ago.
The Coeur d’Alene-based bank has 12 branches.
Recession signs ‘unequivocal’
Higher unemployment claims and weak readings from two economic indexes reinforced recession worries Thursday.
The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits rose to 372,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week.
Separately, the New York-based Conference Board’s gauge of future economic activity rose 0.1 percent for March, reversing five months of decline. But the private business group’s indicator has shown a 3.3 percent annual rate of decline since March 2007.
That’s “the kind of result, that whenever we’ve seen it in the past, the U.S. economy has been heading into a recession,” Michael Gregory, senior economist for BMO Nesbitt Burns, a Toronto investment bank. “The recession signal here is clear and unequivocal.”
Examiner OKs clustered homes
A Spokane couple may proceed with plans for nine cottage-style homes on a northwest Spokane bluff, a project contested by neighbors concerned about its density, increased traffic and potential harm to adjacent Drumheller Springs Park.
Property owners Wayne and Marcie Endicott, would be the first to take advantage of a 2-year-old change in city zoning code allowing for clustered, cottage-style housing on single-family lots, according to news reports. City staff had granted them a conditional-use permit, which neighbors appealed.
Hearing Examiner Greg Smith said in a Thursday decision there was no evidence it would “cause damage over and above building fewer but larger single family homes on this site.”
Each of the two-story homes would be built on 650 square feet of land. Ash Court Development LLC hopes to start construction this summer.