ARLINGTON, Va.-According to the latest NAFCU Flash Report, surveyed NAFCU members said they find economic data a useful tool in their strategic planning sessions. Of the approximately 120 credit unions surveyed, 94% said they incorporate an economic presentation into their strategic planning sessions. Thirty-three percent responded that the analysis was “very important,” and another 64% said that it was “important.” Just 3% said it was not important in their strategic planning. The bulk of respondents, 83%, indicated that they spent an hour or two on economic analysis during their planning session, while 17% said they set aside half a day to a full day for the statistics. Nearly half (45%) of the credit unions surveyed said they use outside consultants to track the economy, but 38% said it was handled internally. The remaining 17% trust the analysis to publications, the Internet, and other sources. Of those surveyed that perform the economic analysis in-house, 79% rely on their CEO or CFO. Board decisions most affected by economic analysis were share rates, according to 46% of respondents to NAFCU’s survey, and loan rates, 40% said. The remainder replied that either product marketing or expansion plans were most affected. The Flash found that the most watched economic indicators were Treasury yields (86%), the Prime Rate (81%), and auto/retail sales (78%). The housing market tied retail sales with a 78% showing, while 67% cited inflation, 41% cited the equity market performance, and 29% pointed to the Gross Domestic Product, as key economic indicators. “It is evident from the Flash survey that the vast majority of credit unions consider economic analysis important and therefore devote a significant part of their planning sessions to discussing the economy,” the survey concluded. [email protected]

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