PLANO, Texas (2/13/14)--Credit union CEOs' confidence in the economy rebounded in the fourth quarter, according to a survey conducted by Catalyst Corporate FCU.
The Plano, Texas-based wholesale cooperative financial institution's CEO confidence index rose more than three points over the third-quarter survey to 27.04, approximating levels recorded for the first and second quarters of 2013.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the confidence survey. Looking back to 2004, U.S. GDP was around 4%, unemployment was around 5.5%, and the CU CEO Confidence Index registered almost 20 points higher than it does today.
CEOs' optimism regarding their members' current and future financial conditions improved over last quarter, rising 2.19 points and 3.38 points, respectively. Analysis of their own institution's current and future financial conditions also rose over last quarter's results by 1.99 points and 4.65 points, respectively.
Only two survey measurements reflected new highs for the year--loan demand and credit union future financial condition--while the remaining measurements stayed at or dipped lower than the average for the past four quarters.
The improvement in loan demand and future financial condition is accounted for by higher mortgage rates and improved auto sales, said Brian Turner, Catalyst Strategic Solutions director and chief strategist.
"Interest rates are not expected to be significantly higher during 2014, loan demand should improve, but most likely will be concentrated with the larger credit unions, and share growth should be at the most, moderately better," Turner said.