APRIL 2015 NUMBER 4
Office of the Chief Economist
2 Chairman’s Corner
ECONOMIC GROWTH EXPECTED
Five New Areas
of Regulatory Relief
TO CONTINUE BUT UNCERTAINTY
ON THE HORIZON
3 Take Part in
John D. Worth
4 Board Perspective
In general, the news
about the overall
economy over the
past several months
That was the first time the quarterly monthly
average exceeded 300,000 since the fourth
quarter of 1999.
Reflections on GAC
5 Board Actions
has been good. Job growth has been robust
and the unemployment rate has fallen to
5. 5 percent.
Recently, economic growth has slowed
somewhat, and forecasts for 2015 and 2016
have become less optimistic. Uncertainty
about the outlook reflects slower growth
internationally, the strong dollar, and some
uncertainty about the future interest rates.
The 2014 pace has been maintained in
the first quarter of this year although the
March employment report was somewhat
disappointing. Gains in the first quarter
averaged about 200,000 a month. Over the
year ending in March, the economy added a
net 3. 2 million jobs, a substantial
improvement over the 2. 3 million increase in
the previous year.
6 Identifying and
10 Second Half of 2015
Brings Changes to
Credit unions have generally performed well
in this relatively benign macro-environment.
Performance indicators for 2014 were good.
Loan growth was strong, overall loan
quality improved, and net income was solid.
We also saw some reduction in long-term
investments as loan growth picked up.
Monthly job gains averaged a solid 260,000
in 2014, lifted by an average gain of almost
325,000 per month in the fourth quarter.
As the economy has continued to add jobs,
the unemployment rate has continued to
drop. In February, the unemployment rate
fell to 5. 5 percent, the lowest rate since mid-
2008. Over the year ending in March the
rate has fallen 1.1 percentage points.
Broader measures of unemployment have
shown even more improvement. The U- 6
measure of unemployment includes the
unemployed, the under-employed, like
part-timers who want full-time work, and
discouraged workers. That rate has fallen 1.6
CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
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