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Total CU Capital Increases 1.4% in March, Says CUNA MCUEs

Graph of distribution of credit union loans

Credit union loan balances increased by 0.3% in March, an acceleration relative to the 0.1% February increase, but the slowest march increase since 2013, according to CUNA’s Monthly Credit Union Estimates for March 2019. March credit union membership growth increased to 0.27% from 0.23% in February, while year-over-year membership growth was a solid 3.8% in March.

The first quarter’s loan growth was 0.7% - slow compared to both the 1.9% fourth quarter 2018 increase and to the 1.6% in the first quarter of 2018.

Auto loan balances increased by 0.3% in March, up from 0.1% in February. Growth was driven by used auto loans, which increased 0.5% (a bit faster than February’s 0.4% advance. In contrast, new auto loan balances declined by -0.1% in March.

 

The 10-year Treasury declined by over 30 basis points in March helping to buoy fixed-rate mortgages which were up 0.6% in the month. That increase followed a tepid 0.2% advance in February. As might be expected, adjustable rate mortgages moved in the opposite direction decreasing -0.3% in the month.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) growth dipped into negative territory for the second month in a row. Credit union HELOC balances fell -0.2% in March, only slightly better than -0.6% decline in February.

Credit union savings balances increased by 1.8% in March, marginally slower than the 2.5% February increase. Share drafts, regular shares and CDs drove savings growth this month, registering 2.27%, 2.08% and 2.25% growth. Rising interest rates may have helped generate these results, CUNA economists believe.

March membership growth increased to 0.27% from 0.23% in February. Year-over-year membership growth was a solid 3.8% in March.

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