About half of polled New York credit union leaders are optimistic about their regional economy and more than 60% anticipate loan growth in 2014, according to a new economic survey from the Credit Union Association of New York in Albany.
Nearly 40% of credit union executives are pessimistic about their regional economy, but only 6.9% anticipate a decline in loan growth while 31.9% expect loan growth to remain the same this year, according to survey results.
The survey breakdown responses showed that 50.7% of credit union executives were somewhat optimistic about their regional economy and nearly 7% were very optimistic. The survey breakdown responses also revealed that 37.3% of credit union leaders were somewhat pessimistic about their regional economy while more than 5% were very pessimistic.
"These findings reflect a cautious optimism among New York credit union leaders as our economy continues to recover," said William J. Mellin, CUANY president/CEO. "It's encouraging to see that, while there are still many challenges facing our industry, the majority of New York credit unions are planning to increase their lending, serve more members and expand the products and services they provide in the year ahead."
That “cautious optimism” was also reflected in the survey that showed 53% of credit unions have no plans to hire new employees in 2014 and 72% will not open new branches.
Nonetheless, 57% credit unions executives said they expect to expand their products and services, while the same percentage expects growth in credit union shares this year.
Other survey findings included:
- Among respondents that offer business loans, 76% are anticipating growth in 2014.
- Among executives whose credit unions offer mortgage refinances, 46% are anticipating an unchanged level of growth this year, while 31% are anticipating a decline and only 24% are anticipating growth.
- Of the credit that unions that offer first mortgage loans, 43% percent are anticipating growth while 44% are expecting a continuation of the same levels this year.
- Among respondents whose credit unions offer student loans, 42% are anticipating growth and 48% expect continuation of the same levels.
Regional comparisons included some stark differences:
- Credit union leaders in the Adirondack, Metropolitan and Rochester regions are the most optimistic about their regional economies for 2014, while those in the Central New York, Finger Lakes and Long Island regions are the least optimistic.
- A total of 67% of respondents in the Rochester region are projecting growth in first mortgage loans for 2014, the highest number statewide.
- Seventy percent of respondents in the Metropolitan region are planning to hire new employees this year, compared to 40 percent or less in the other chapters.
- More respondents are planning to expand their products and services in the Utica-Rome region (100%), the Central New York region (71%) and the Catskill-Hudson and Rochester regions (67%) than other regions.
Nearly 80 credit union leaders representing every asset category and region in New York State completed the online survey in December, according to CUANY.