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Consumers Are Optimistic on Potential Economic Impact of Shale Exploration, According to Huntington Bank’s Midwest Economic



  Consumers Are Optimistic on Potential Economic Impact of Shale Exploration,
  According to Huntington Bank’s Midwest Economic Index

Business Wire

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- January 22, 2013

Almost 60 percent of consumers living in the shale exploration areas,
stretching from West Virginia through Michigan, believe that the growing
industry will provide economic opportunity in their areas. Of those, 14
percent believe it will provide “significant opportunity,” while 43 percent
say it will provide “somewhat of an opportunity,” according to Huntington
Bank’s first Midwest Economic Index, a survey of consumers recently conducted
across Huntington’s markets.

Another 43 percent said they did not believe economic growth would be created
by the new energy industry, in terms of shale workers increasing business in
local areas, energy companies buying land or manufacturing growing to support
the new industry.

The three areas with the most exploration – Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and
West Virginia – had corresponding results:

  * In Western Pennsylvania, 79 percent of respondents said the new industry
    would bring opportunity to the area. Of those, 24 percent said it would be
    a significant opportunity, while 21 percent saw no local economic growth
    from the new industry.
  * In Ohio, 58 percent of respondents agreed that the industry would bring
    opportunity, with 15 percent of those saying it would be a significant
    opportunity, while 42 percent said they did not see it bringing economic
    opportunity to their communities.
  * In West Virginia, 75 percent of respondents believe it will provide
    opportunity. Of those, 24 percent saw significant opportunity, while 25
    percent did not see economic impact.

“Huntington commissioned the survey by an independent research firm because we
are committed to helping our customers understand the economy in our markets,”
said Steve Steinour, chairman, president and CEO of Huntington Bank. “While
many inside and outside of the energy industry are predicting growth, we
wanted to find out how the residents of our markets perceive the potential
economic impact of the industry on their communities.

“Many of these industrial areas have been known as the Rust Belt,” added
Steinour. “With manufacturing growing again, and aggregate employment in these
areas outpacing the national economic recovery, we prefer to call this swath
of the country the Recovery Belt.”

While the national unemployment rate is holding steady at 7.8 percent, the
unemployment rate in Ohio for November 2012, the latest number available, was
6.8 percent.

Shale industry growth in these areas includes an announced new Shell
petrochemical plant in Western Pennsylvania. Analysts are predicting hundreds
of thousands of jobs to be created by the industry over the next 10 years.
With Midwestern growth tied to Utica and Marcellus shale and other natural gas
production expected to skyrocket over the next 25 years, Huntington has
announced plans to expand commercial banking services for the energy sector
across its markets.

In December, Huntington released another portion of the newly created Midwest
Economic Index, which revealed that just under 50 percent of consumers
participating in the study think the economy will be better next year. The
respondents also indicated a planned uptick in 2013 spending on vacations and
home improvement.

About Huntington

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $56 billion regional bank holding
company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The Huntington National Bank, founded
in 1866, provides full-service commercial, small business, and consumer
banking services; mortgage banking services; treasury management and foreign
exchange services; equipment leasing; wealth and investment management
services; trust services; brokerage services; customized insurance brokerage
and service programs; and other financial products and services. The principal
markets for these services are Huntington’s six-state banking franchise: Ohio,
Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The primary
distribution channels include a banking network of more than 690 traditional
branches and convenience branches located in grocery stores and retirement
centers, and through an array of alternative distribution channels including
internet and mobile banking, telephone banking, and more than 1,380 ATMs.
Through automotive dealership relationships within its six-state banking
franchise area and selected other Midwest and New England states, Huntington
also provides commercial banking services to the automotive dealers and retail
automobile financing for dealer customers.

About Echo Research

Echo Research (www.echoresearch.com) has a 23-year track record in
communications research – media content analysis, stakeholder evaluation and
reputation measurement. As part of the Ebiquity Group (www.ebiquity.com), Echo
and Ebiquity are leaders in above- and below-line communications tracking and
research, providing independent data-driven insights to the global media, CMO
and CCO community to continuously improve clients’ business performance.

Contact:

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated
Maureen Brown, 614-480-5512
maureen.brown@huntington.com
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