Credit unions in the Bay Area outperformed their counterparts statewide during 2014, a trend that underscores the strength of this region’s economy, according to information released Friday by the California Credit Union League.
Measured by virtually every key benchmark — deposits, new loans, membership growth and employee hiring — credit unions in the Bay Area have outpaced similar financial institutions in California.
“The Bay Area is a boomtown,” said Dwight Johnson, chief economist with the credit union league, which is based in the San Bernardino County city of Ontario. “By far, the economy in the Bay Area is much better than the rest of the state.”
And those strong economic conditions translate into what is needed as a foundation for robust activity at financial institutions.
“The strong job market and particularly the strong income growth in the Bay Area allow our residents to buy more cars, purchase more homes, remodel more residences,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
What’s more, the Bay Area appears to be enjoying a wealth effect, Levy said.
“The gains in the stock market, added to the jobs and wage growth in the Bay Area, allow us to refinance homes and engage in more borrowing and spending activity,” Levy said.
Read more: Contra Costa Times Strong Bay Area economy powers surge for local credit unions