Bolstered by a growing confidence in the financial condition ofcredit unions, Catalyst Corporate's Credit Union CEO ConfidenceIndex increased moderately during the first quarter of 2016, aftertwo quarters of decreases.

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The index was 30.41, up from 27.02 in the previous survey. ThePresent Situation Index increased from 25.20 to 29.71, and theExpectations Index increased from 27.93 to 30.76.

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Catalyst Corporate's quarterly confidence was sent to 1,969credit union CEOs in April 2016; 242 credit union professionalsresponded, for a response rate of 12.3%.

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Using a scale ranging from negative (-100) to positive (+100),respondents reported their confidence levels in six areas to create an overall index.

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“The uptick in the Indexes is surprising given the widespreadvolatility across the global financial markets in the first threemonths of 2016, but it shows the underlying financial strength ofthe credit union industry,” Steven Houle, vice president ofCatalyst Strategic Solutions' Advisory Service, said.

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“Credit unions have had a few strong years of loan growth andearnings, and that helps them weather these short periods of marketvolatility,” Houle said. “Credit union executives also areconfident that strong loan growth will continue in 2016, as itappears monetary policy will be accommodative and loan rates willremain low.”

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CEOs' appraisal of current financial conditions was moreoptimistic quarter-over-quarter, both for their own institutions,increasing from 34.22 to 37.76, and for their members, increasingfrom 16.19 to 21.69, in the most recent survey.

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CEOs also were more positive about the short-term outlook offinancial conditions. The assessment rose from 39.26 to 42.23 forthe CEOs' own institutions and from 18.80 to 25.41 for theirmembers.

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Expectations for member share deposit growth in six monthsincreased from 21.55 to 26.97 this quarter. And expectations formember loan demand in six months decreased from 32.08 last quarterto 28.57 in the most recent survey.

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