SACRAMENTO, Calif. (3/27/15)--Strong fourth-quarter lending data from the California Credit Union League (CCUL) grabbed headlines at a number of media outlets throughout the Golden State recently.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, for example, wrote about the "increasing power" credit unions are wielding in the state, as memberships climbed by 3.4% in 2014, according to call report data provided by the CCUL.
New-auto loans skyrocketed in 2014, according to the CCUL data, jumping 40.1% on an annual basis, while used-auto loans increased by 16.7%. Further, first mortgages and home equity lines of credit rose 11.8%, business lending climbed 7.4%, and credit card lending ramped up by 6.8%.
"Last year was our best year ever," Dwight Johnston, CCUL chief economist, told the Valley Tribune. "That was kind of the trend across the country. In California specifically, it had much to do with how good our economy was last year."
The Sacramento Bee covered the healthy gains at the county level, using the league's call report data to show that new-auto loans at credit unions had jumped 62% on an annual basis in Sacramento County.
Used-car loans rose 15% in the county year-over-year, the Bee said.
Mortgage lending also rose for the quarter on an annual basis, according to the CCUL data for Sacramento County, as first mortgages and home equity lines of credit climbed 8.5%. Credit card lending increased by 14% as well.
The Fontana Herald News also cited statewide numbers recently, reporting that California's credit unions posted a 13.8% increase in loan growth for the year, according to the league's numbers.
In the fourth quarter alone, credit unions recorded a 2.9% climb in loan growth.
"Strong job growth, coupled with a general improvement in all sectors of the economy, boosted the confidence of California consumers," Johnston told the Fontana Herald News. "Thanks to this rebound in confidence, consumers were more willing to borrow to purchase cars and homes."
The story that ran in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune also was published in the Redlands Daily Facts, the Long Beach Press Telegram, the Whittier Daily News, the Inland Daily Bulletin and the Los Angeles Daily News, according to Matt Wrye, media relations manager for the league.