MADISON, Wis. (2/3/16)--For the second straight year, credit unions notched a 10.2% increase in loan growth in 2015, putting total loans outstanding at the $800 billion benchmark, according to the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) December credit union monthly estimates. Aside from last year’s performance, it’s the fastest pace of growth since 2005.
On the year, new- and used-auto loan growth rose 16.5% and 12.8% respectively, while fixed-rate first mortgages climbed 7.8%, adjustable-rate mortgages jumped 12.3%, and home-equity lines of credit increased 8.7%.
“The December estimates show that our 2015 forecast for loan growth at 10.2% was on target,” said Perc Pineda, CUNA senior economist. “Additionally, on a 12-month basis, savings growth rose 6.8%, which is higher than our revised forecast of 6.2%.”
Memberships, meanwhile, posted the strongest rate of growth last year since 1988, when memberships jumped 3.9%. In 2015, memberships increased 3.7% to 105.2 million nationwide.
In December, credit union loans outstanding climbed 0.9%, led by adjustable-rate mortgages at 3.2%, credit card loans at 2.2%, and new-auto loans at 1.7%. Fixed-rate first mortgages and home-equity loans declined 0.5% and 0.3% respectively.
Looking forward, Pineda said that CUNA economists forecast a 9% increase in credit union loan growth in 2016. (Read News Now tomorrow for CUNA’s full credit union growth forecast.)
“We expect the U.S. economy to grow 2.75% in 2016,” Pineda said. “The labor market continues to improve and this should keep the delinquency rate at its currently low level of 0.8%.”
Housing and auto demand are expected to be robust in 2016, which bodes well for continued economic expansion and strong paces of loan and savings growth for credit unions, Pineda added.
Additional numbers from the report: