Loans Outpaced Savings In May

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Loan growth at CUs during May was up 1.2%, the highest monthly growth figure since August 2004, according to analysis by CUNA. Loans grew to $443.5 billion, a 10.7% increase over one year earlier.

"It's very unusual through May to have year-to-date loan growth exceed year-to-date savings growth," said CUNA chief economist, Bill Hampel. For the first five months of 2005, loans are up 3.5%, compared to 3% growth on the savings side, CUNA reported.

The data comes at the same time a new study examines CU vs. bank pricing decisions (see story, page 8). The May year-to-date loan growth was 3.5% compared with savings growth of 3%, according to the monthly credit union estimates by CUNA's Economics and Statistics department. Typically, savings grow faster during the first half of the year and loans grow faster during the second half.

CUNA's Economic and Credit Union 2005 Forecast is projecting savings growth during 2005 at 7% with loan growth at 9%. "Loan growth so far is consistent with our 9% annual forecast," Hampel said, "but savings growth suggests 7% for the full year might be a little high. We may revise downward our savings growth forecast to 5% or 6%."

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