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WASHINGTON-Monthly estimates produced by CUNA’s economics department show loan growth slowing to a crawl and savings declining. The dollar amount of loans outstanding rose just 0.3% in January, according to CUNA’s sampling, while savings fell 0.7%. The loan-to-share ratio reached 80.8%, up from 80.0%, and delinquencies held at 0.7%. CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel noted that the last time the loan-to-share ratio reached this level was in 2000. At that time, he recalled, NCUA sent out a letter to credit unions cautioning them to keep an eye on things. Hampel described the 80.8% loan-to-share ratio as “very manageable.” Credit card balances fell 1.1% after the holidays compared to a 1.7% decline the previous year, CUNA’s Monthly Credit Union Estimates showed. Other mortgage loans (2.5%), adjustable-rate first mortgages (1.4%), and other loans led growth (0.8%). Home equity and new auto loans also experienced growth in January at 0.4% each. However, fixed-rate mortgages and used auto loans had very slight declines. On the savings side, certificates rose 1.5% and retirement accounts were up 0.2%, but that was no match for the declines in share drafts, regular shares, and money market accounts at 5.1%, 1.2%, and 0.5%, respectively. CUNA attributed the drop in share drafts to subsequent withdrawals after three pay periods falling in December that boosted the savings rate. Credit unions ended January with an 11.3% capital-to-asset ratio. [email protected]

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