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MADISON, Wis. - (01/04/05) -- An expanding economy has helped pushloan growth among credit unions higher, but pushed down savingsgrowth, according to CUNA. Loans grew by 0.6% in November, pushingyear-to-date loan growth to 9.8%; while savings declined by 0.3%,making year-to-date savings growth just 4.8%, about half of lastyear's growth rate, and the lowest since 2000. Bill Hampel, chiefeconomist for CUNA, attributed the accelerated loan growth andslower savings growth to the heating up of the economy. "It'scyclical; a signal of faster economic growth," he said. Thestrongest loan growth in November was for adjustable-rate mortgages(1.7%); credit card loans (1.7%); home equity loans (1.6%) andother mortgages (1.3%).

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