CUNA’s Monthly Credit Union Estimates for May 2019 shows a continuation of slowing loan and membership growth: credit union memberships increased just 0.31%, the slowest May increase since 2014. Moreover, loan portfolios were up just 0.57%, the weakest May loan growth since 2011 (shortly after the 2009 recession).
“The slowdown in credit union loan growth was led by outstanding new automobile loans, which fell 0.02% in May, representing its fifth straight month of negative growth—the first time that has occurred since 2011,” said Jordan van Rijn, CUNA senior economist. “Despite the slowdown in credit union loan growth, credit cards, fixed-rate mortgages, commercial loans and second mortgages each grew by more than 1.0% in May.”
Savings were up a strong 1.30% in May, despite savings growth typically slowing in late spring and summer.
“In fact, this was the fastest increase in savings during the month of May since 2008, during the height of the financial crisis,” van Rijn noted. “The slowdown in loan growth and uptick in savings may be indications that consumers are concerned about future prospects for economic growth and earnings, particularly in light of increased trade tensions.”
On a year-over-year basis loans are up only 6.8% - well below the 9.6% increase CUNA reported in May 2018. On the other hand, savings balances are up 7.2% - well above the 5.5% increase CUNA reported in May 2018.