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WASHINGTON-A payday falling on the last business day of 2005 provided a boost to the disappointing credit union savings figures, according to CUNA’s Monthly Credit Union Estimates. December saw a 1.0% increase in savings, which is typically odd because of holiday-related spending, for year-to-date growth of 3.8%. This figure was down significantly from year-end 2004 when savings growth reached 5.4%. Share drafts, due to the payday falling on Dec. 30, jumped 7.0% in the last month of 2005. All other savings accounts were up except for regular shares, which fell slightly. Regular savings rates crept up slightly from year-end 2004 to year-end 2005 from 0.9% to 1.1% and share drafts edged from 0.4% to 0.5% in the same time frame. However, the largest increases on rates were in one-year CDs from 2.3% at year-end 2004 to 3.8% at the same time last year and 1.3% to 2.0%, respectively, for money market accounts. Loans grew less than savings in December at 0.7%. Overall loan growth in 2005 was up 11.2%, CUNA found. Credit card and mortgage lending led loan growth, however, used car and adjustable-rate mortgage growth slipped. Because savings outgrew loans, the loan-to-savings ratio dropped slightly from 80.2% in November to 79.9% in December.

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