SAN ANTONIO — The economy will improve slightly but consumers will continue to be cautious about spending and taking on new debt, CUNA's top economists said Tuesday at a session during America's Credit Union Conference.
"Economic conditions will improve even more by 2012 but it won't like all other recoveries because spending will be slower," said CUNA Vice President Mike Schenk. "The sky is not falling and the good news is that we are in a much better place than a year ago."
He said the continued high unemployment rate — including the large number of long-term unemployed — and the high foreclosure rates are causing concern.
The high home vacancy rate and large housing stock are also problematic, Schenk added.
CUNA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Bill Hampel said there is a "building momentum" in the economy caused in part by a slight increase in business investment.
He said for credit unions the next year will feature moderate savings and asset growth and weak, but improving loan growth.