Discovery Conference 2018: How an economist sees the world

With Discovery Conference 2018 fast approaching, CUNA Mutual Group’s own Chief Economist Steve Rick shed some light on the global economic outlook, and what credit unions need to be thinking about now and into the future.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to join us today, Steve. Can you describe your role as Chief Economist for CUNA Mutual Group? What sorts of factors and indicators are you constantly keeping an eye on?

My role is tracking the economic, regulatory, technological and competitive factors impacting credit union operations now and into the future. Interest rates are the price of money, which is the most important price in any economy.  So it’s very important to keep an eye on the factors that move both short-term and long-term interest rates which have a direct impact on credit union’s net interest income.  Job and income growth along with inflation are also important economic indicators to track to see how the overall economy is performing.

Q: No doubt there’s been a lot in the news lately about the changing dynamics of global trade. Do you see the fall-out impacting credit unions? And ultimately, members? If so, how so? 

On a macroeconomic level, tariffs will lower economic growth and raise inflation, both of which are detrimental to credit union members.  Nobody wins in a trade war, so hopefully, all negotiating parties will back away from a full-blown trade war.


continue reading »