ATLANTA (12/4/13)--Increased demand for new- and used-car loans is leading the way for higher consumer confidence and significant loan growth in Georgia, according to a new survey.
The report, released by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, showed that the state's 139 credit unions saw a 4.7% increase in total loans during the first three quarters of the year and a 6.4% rise over the past 12 months.
New- and used-auto loans performed well with 8.8% and 6.9% growth rates, respectively. At 4.4% in the first three quarters, first mortgages were on pace with the overall loan growth of 4.7% (Paying ATTENTION Dec. 2).
Georgia's credit union members continue to add to their nest eggs with balances in regular saving accounts growing 9% over the past 12 months. Although credit card balances increased 2.1% over the past 12 months, they are 1.7% lower compared with the first nine months of 2012, said GCUA.
"As consumer confidence continues to rebound, Georgia consumers continue to spend their money wisely on sound investments," said Mike Mercer, league president/CEO. "Georgians are making a concerted effort to restore their fiscal houses to the same levels they were before the Great Recession."
This sentiment also was reflected in an earlier GCUA survey that found 52.7% of Georgia consumers plan to spend the same as last year on holiday purchases, while 38.9% plan to spend less.
Additionally, credit union membership in Georgia continues to grow, with a 2.7% increase during the past year, which the survey attributed to better rates.