It was November before credit unions imposed the first significant loan and deposit rate increases of 1994, according to figures compiled by the Credit Union National Association.

That month, credit unions on average increased their loan rates for all loan types by about 20 basis points.

Rates on certificate of deposit accounts rose 27 basis points, reaching 5.12%, the largest one-month increase since the Federal Reserve began raising short-term interest rates last February.

"It's been kind of remarkable how little rates have moved," said Keith Peterson, an economist for CUNA. "These are the first real strong signs we've seen" of an increase.

Credit unions traditionally trail banks in raising rates, largely because they're not as bottom-line driven, Mr. Peterson said.

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