CUNA Mutual Group’s most recent report in October for August 2016 data showed positive trends in many areas for credit unions. During August, credit unions picked-up 526,000 in new memberships; loan balances grew at a 10.2 percent annualized pace; savings balances rose at a 6.8 percent annualized rate; and long-term interest rates fell 4 basis points. Third quarter economic growth came in at 2.9 percent, better than the 1.4 percent in Q2, as the inventory correction phase came to an end.

Credit union memberships rose a robust 0.53 percent in August, up from a 0.34 percent gain reported in August 2015. This is the fastest growth rate since May 2003, during the last credit boom. Memberships are up 4.1 percent during the past year due to robust demand for credit, solid job growth, and comparatively lower fees and loan rates.

The report also shows total credit union assets rose 0.3 percent in August due to a 13.7 percent surge in borrowing. Assets rose 7.8 percent during the past year due to a 7.3 percent increase in deposits, a 21.5 percent increase in borrowings, and a 7.6 percent increase in capital.

During August, the economy added 167,000 jobs; the unemployment rate rose to five percent; personal income rose 0.2 percent; consumer prices rose 0.2 percent; home prices rose 1.1 percent; and the 10-year Treasury interest rate increased four basis points to average 1.56 percent. The economic outlook for U.S. consumers is strong. Consumers’ balance sheets are the healthiest in 15 years due to consumers’ focus on paying-off debt during the recovery phase of the last seven years.

For more details, read the CUNA Mutual Group report.