FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (4/22/14)--Continued strength in car and light truck sales during the first quarter this year is an encouraging sign for many credit unions in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, according to a Catalyst Strategic Solutions expert.
Chief Strategist Brian Turner said for the second-straight year, Q1's stronger auto sales were matched by strong share growth.
"Regionally, Texas credit unions saw loans increase about 9.3%, Oklahoma credit union loans rose by 12% and Arkansas credit union loans were up 5.9%," Turner told Leaguer (April 21). "This trend appears to be continuing during the first part of 2014 although it is expected to slow during the rest of the year."
Turner noted that the region's economy and housing base are stabilizing, adding, "This means average home prices are less volatile, wage growth is stronger and unemployment is lower in our core area. Five of the top 10 metropolitan money centers in financial performance reside in our core area."
Mortgage originations are expected to decline this year, challenging credit unions to produce enough consumer loans to see overall loan growth over the year, Turner said.
"But unlike 2013, the '94 percenters' should see their loan demand increase as consumer spending behavior returns due to our strong employment sector, stable housing market and corporate diversity," he added.