Catalyst Corporate, in announcing the results of its annual CU CEO Confidence Survey, has proclaimed that credit union CEOs are “significantly more optimistic about their economic environment today than they were one year ago.”
The numbers underline that conclusion. Said Catalyst, the Plano, Texas-based corporate credit union: “The fourth quarter 2011 index of 26.81 is nearly 16 points higher than the fourth quarter 2010 index. Historically, the index has ranged from a high of 47.40 (Q204) to a low of 7.90 (Q109) over the survey’s eight-year lifespan.”
Catalyst elaborated on the methodology: “The survey registers credit union CEO confidence on a five-point scale from -100 to +100 in six key areas:
- Current financial condition of members
- Current financial condition of the credit union
- Anticipated financial condition of members in six months
- Anticipated financial condition of the credit union in six months
- Anticipated loan demand at the credit union in six months
- Anticipated share deposit growth at the credit union in six months”
Importantly, credit union CEOs are especially buoyant about prospects for their own institution, per Catalyst, representing a sharp turnaround from year-ago gloom.
“In the Q410 survey, CEOs registered the lowest reading in the survey’s history (15.53) for their own financial institutions. One year later, CEOs notched marks approximately 25 points higher (40.20),” Catalyst said in a statement released Thursday.
Brian Turner, chief strategist of Catalyst Strategic Solutions, elaborated on the “why” of the confidence growth: “Given the depth of despair felt over the past year, it is not surprising to see overall improvement in the CEO index—both from the institutions’ and the members’ perspectives,” said Turner. “In addition to the declining unemployment rate, the rate of decline in home prices is slowing, stock prices appear to be improving, and members are considering replacement of their aging vehicles.”