Summer is over, the kids are back in school, and that means one thing: The start of the credit union strategic planning season, says Mike Schenk, CUNA’s interim chief economist.
As credit unions make their plans for 2015 and beyond, he says, they should consider two important developments from 2014:
1. A reduction in marketplace uncertainties. “That’s meant that consumers—your members—have shown a willingness to open their wallets and spend more money,” Schenk said during CUNA’s Pressing Economic Issues Series (PEIS) in September. “More of them are spending money on big-ticket items—durable goods that require credit union financing.”
2. A steady improvement in labor markets. “More members are working, the unemployment rate is down almost everywhere you look, and wages are increasing at a rate that exceeds inflation,” he says. “Members are not only more willing, but better able, to interact from an economic perspective.”
The long and short of it: “We expect these developments to continue throughout the rest of 2014 and into 2015,” Schenk says.
That means more membership growth, more loan growth, “and fatter bottom-line results” for credit unions.
Click here for a condensed version of Schenk’s September PEIS discussion.