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Conning Research says ND has best credit

May 23, 2012

North Dakota residents are finally being recognized for more than their friendliness, hard work ethic, oil reserves and the Coen brothers’ movie “Fargo.”

According to a report from Conning Research and Consulting, a Connecticut-based money management firm with $87 billion in assets, North Dakota ranked No. 1 in credit quality.

The rankings are based on 13 indicators including state revenue growth, year-over-year employment gains and foreclosure rates.

In November, the state was still ranked behind Wyoming.

North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said the state’s hard work is paying off.

““This report is more evidence that our efforts are getting results,” Anderson said in a news release.

“These rankings show that North Dakota has experienced statewide growth in a number of industries while maintaining one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the nation,” Anderson said.

The report also found that the state had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and the N.D. economy outpaced the nation last year with unparalleled growth in jobs, home prices and personal income.

However, as the nation’s economy continues to recover, Conning analyst Joshua Youdovin has found that worker’s compensation may see a complex mix of improvement and further deterioration.

“The economic recovery and rate increases will boost premium, yet we expect that rising medical costs and increased utilization of drugs will re-introduce the specter of inflation in loss costs and reduce profitability even further,” Youdovin said.

The line also has been particularly affected by falling investment yields, creating headwinds against overall profitability. Still, some early signs of a turn in key economic drivers may be appearing, and the effects of recovery may bring some new surprises in risks and opportunities in the line,” Youdovin said.

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