Credit unions hit the lending trifecta

Five reasons double-digit loan growth will continue for a third straight year

Credit unions’ loans outstanding grew 10% in 2014 and they’re on track to post another double-digit surge in balances this year. More impressively, credit unions may deliver a similar gain in 2016.

Credit unions haven’t seen a trifecta of loan growth at that lofty level in nearly 30 years.

Not surprisingly, the foundation of our upbeat outlook rests on recent economic improvement. And expectations are for more of the same in the coming months.

We expect a continuation of healthy increases in credit union lending into 2016 for at least five good reasons:

1. Solid employment gains

The economy added nearly 250,000 jobs per month on average in the year ending August 2015. In all, 2.9 million new jobs were created during that period.

The unemployment rate declined a full percentage point in the past year and the current 5.1% reading is the lowest in roughly 7.5 years.

The U-6 unemployment rate—which accounts for those who have become discouraged and have dropped out of the labor force, as well as those who are working part time but desire full-time employment—fell even faster, declining from 12% one year ago to 10.3% in August.

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