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DALLAS – A new poll conducted by Southwest Corporate finds credit union CEOs are optimistic about the economy. Southwest dubs its poll the Credit Union CEO Confidence Indexc. It includes responses from a nationwide sampling of 370 credit union CEOs (30% responded). It looks at how the current economy is affecting credit unions and their members, and what those CEOs believe the economy’s impact will be six months from now. Based on the CEO responses, the index for current credit union conditions was set at 63.8-with 100 (positive) and 0 (neutral) and -100 (negative). CEO responses placed the index for their credit union’s financial conditions six month from now at 65.1. CEOs were clearly concerned about the economy’s effects on their members. The survey placed the index of their member’s current financial condition at 23.1. CEOs expect members will experience steady improvement, and set the index for future conditions at 38.6. “Because of the significant response rate, we think this index creates a good `optimism barometer’ for current conditions and an indication of credit union CEOs’ expectations of future conditions,” said Bob Rehm, SVP of Marketing and Sales for Southwest Corporate. Comparison figures will be available in April when the second quarter survey is conducted. Southwest Corporate is planning to measure CEO expectations quarterly during 2004 and will then conduct this survey on a monthly basis beginning in 2005. “It will be interesting over time to see how closely aligned the credit union specific index is when measured against attitudes revealed in U.S. consumer confidence surveys,” Rehm said.

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