PLANO, Texas (5/22/14)--Faith in the economy appears to be mounting, at least in the eyes of credit union CEOs.
In Catalyst Corporate FCU's most recent confidence survey, CEO confidence in the economy reached its highest mark since the economic downturn in 2008.
The overall confidence index, tracked by the Plano, Texas-based corporate credit union, climbed three points in the first quarter, its second straight increase, up to 30.32 points.
The last time the index surpassed the 30-point mark was in 2007.
"Hopefully this latest enthusiasm won't be short-lived, and the recovery will begin to expand enough that member spending will strengthen, and credit unions will experience a more broad-based growth trend in loan demand at higher interest rates," said Brian Turner, Catalyst Strategic Services director and chief strategist.
Responses from CEOs to every question in the survey were more positive than the previous quarter, according to Catalyst, which hasn't occurred since late 2008.
The largest increase in confidence centered on the financial health of members. CEO confidence in present and future member financial health both rose by about 5.5 points.
For their own institutions, the survey recorded a 2.47-point increase in how confident CEOs are in current financial conditions, and a 0.95-point increase in future conditions.
CEOs also expect to see growth in both loan demand and share deposits over the next six months; the first time in three years CEOs have forecasted improvements in both areas.
The confidence survey was sent to more than 2,000 credit union CEOs throughout the country in April, with just more than 200 of the credit union leaders responding.