Lending Up For First Time In Eight Months

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MADISON, Wis.-Credit union lending increased during April, the first monthly increase since August of 2010, according to a CUNA analysis released last week.

CUNA said lending was up 0.17% at credit unions, which, while not large, was an improvement over the 0.1% decrease in March. Adjustable-rate mortgages grew 2%, home-equity loans rose 1%, used-auto loans increased 0.8%, and credit card loans went up less than 0.1%, CUNA said of the April numbers. Not all categories were up, however. New-auto loans fell 0.7%, unsecured personal loans dropped 1.1%, and fixed-rate mortgages declined 1.8%, CUNA said.

Credit union loans totaled $575.2 billion, compared with $579 billion in April 2010, according to the monthly estimate from the trade group.

While the monthly improvement looks good, overall data show a more difficult picture. During the past year overall CU loan balances have declined .7%.

On the savings side, CUNA reported that CU savings balances grew 0.7% in April, compared with a 1.3% increase during March. Share drafts led savings growth, increasing 4.3%, followed by regular shares (1.1%), individual retirement accounts (0.2%) and money market accounts (0.1%), CUNA reported. One-year certificates fell 0.4%. Credit union savings in April totaled $833.8 billion--or $35.1 billion more than the $798.7 billion in April 2010.

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