MADISON, Wis. (1/6/15)--Credit unions continued to post healthy gains in membership growth in November, according to credit union monthly estimates from the Credit Union National Association.
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Total memberships surpassed 102 million in November after posting a 0.3% jump in growth, outpacing October's increase of 0.2%. November's numbers also outperformed the 0.06% increase seen last year at this time.
"Overall, credit union memberships are up 3.6% in 2014 and are 3.9% higher over the past 12 months," said Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics.
"By contrast, the U.S. Census Bureau reports the country's population has been growing at a rate of under 1% recently, so memberships have expanded nearly four-times faster than population growth."
Additionally, led by new-auto and unsecured-personal loans, overall U.S. credit union loans outstanding climbed 0.6% in November, the estimates found.
That mark is just marginally slower than October's gain of 0.89%, but faster year-over-year.
New-auto loans rose 1.3%, unsecured-personal loans increased by 1.1% and credit card loans edged up by 1% for the month.
Also posting gains in loan growth were adjustable-rate mortgages (0.9%), home-equity loans (0.5%), used-auto loans (0.5%) and fixed-rate first mortgages (0.3%). Other mortgages fell 0.2% in November.
"An improving economy with more jobs and higher wages has members opening their wallets," Schenk said. "Collectively, members are increasingly comfortable with big-ticket purchases. This is reflected in continuing fast growth in credit union loan portfolios."
Credit union loan portfolios have climbed 9.6% since the start of the year and 10.5% annually, the fastest year-over-year advance since 2005.
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New-auto loans posted the strongest annual increases with a 21.1% year-over-year jump, according to Schenk. Used-auto (12.3%) and unsecured-personal loans (11.8%) have seen healthy year-over-year increases as well.
"CUNA economists expect strong loan growth to continue, fueled by further labor market improvements, higher incomes and an abundance of pent-up demand," Schenk said.
Credit union savings balances, meanwhile, decreased 0.1% in November, compared with a 0.7% climb the year before.
One-year certificate and regular shares climbed 1.1% and 0.4% respectively, while share drafts dropped by 2.6% and money market accounts edged lower by 0.2%.
With loans growing faster than savings, the loan-to-savings ratio at credit unions increased to 74.5% in November from 73.9% in October.
The liquidity ratio fell to 16.4% from 16.8% for the month; the 60-plus day delinquency rate remained at 0.8%; and the credit union movement's overall capital-to-asset-ratio remains at 10.8%, with a total capital dollar amount of $124.2 billion.