MADISON, Wis. — The 1.8% membership growth in May is the strongest gain since 2005 with 294,000 members joining credit unions.

According to CUNA Mutual Group's latest Credit Union Trends Report, May's numbers brings total membership up to an estimated 89.4 million, a gain of more than 1.1 million in the first five months of 2007. CUNA Mutual is forecasting a "conservative" 1.2% annual growth of 89.7 million members by yearend, said Dave Colby, chief economist at CUNA Mutual.

"While our estimates may be on the light side, we believe the run-off of indirect borrowers and usual seasonal patterns implies little or no growth in the second half of the year," Colby said. "In 2005, roughly 97% of membership gains occurred in the first half of the year, in 2006 about 73% of all gains had occurred by midyear."

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