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WASHINGTON — CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel said credit unions’ year-end 2006 economic figures were “particularly interesting stuff.”

Though savings growth had been anticipated as the weakest since World War II, a surge in December pushed savings up to rank only among the five lowest years since that time. Hampel said savings ended the year around 4.5%, bucking the typical seasonal expectations with 1% growth coming in December alone. “It was somewhat affected by the ‘payday’ effect but it is against seasonal trends, which suggests that–November was pretty strong too–credit union members might be showing the fact that they might be done with the spending binge and might be ready to start building their savings again gradually,” he commented.

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