to people and their money

Brenda Davidson, President, Altamaha FCU

Report: Georgia Consumers Reluctant to Spend, Look to Bolster Savings
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates poll shows continued trend toward saving

ATLANTA (May 23, 2011) - Georgia consumers remain reluctant to spend money on big ticket items, opting instead to squirrel away as much of their income as possible, new data and poll results from the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates reveals.

Coinciding with their desire to spend less, the balances of credit union members' savings accounts grew by more than 4.6 percent during the first three months of 2011 while credit card debt decreased by 4.2 percent, according to Georgia Credit Unions' "Paying Attention." The quarterly report compiles recent poll responses from more than 4,000 credit union members and aggregated data from credit unions statewide.

"It's no surprise that Georgia consumers are still reluctant to get out there and spend given the continued economic uncertainty," said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. "Consumers are still working to save as much money as they realistically can and they're making progress at reducing their debt load."

For example, 77.1 percent of respondents to the GCUA poll reported that they are keeping their vehicles longer in order to avoid the cost of a new or used automobile. At the same time, of the 13.2 percent who said they are planning to purchase a vehicle in 2011, only 16.4 percent indicated they were considering a new vehicle.

Similarly, when it comes to travel, only 20.9 percent plan to spend more on travel in 2011 than in 2010, while 37.8 percent plan to spend less, according to the GCUA poll. The numbers also reveal that 50.8 percent of respondents put off travel and/or vacation plans in 2010, while 51.5 percent said they spent less on travel in 2010 than they did a year earlier.

Credit Union Data Show Continued Trend Toward Savings
In conjunction with the consumer poll, GCUA compiled savings and lending data from 39 credit unions from across the state that represents 91 percent of credit union assets and 84 percent of members in Georgia. The findings, outlined below, reflect a continuing trend toward savings, while figures for lending varied:

  • Total savings deposits rose at a rate of 4.6 percent during the first quarter of 2011 and 8.3 over the past 12 months.
  • Money market accounts grew by 4.34 percent during the first three months of the year and 15.47 over the last 12 months.
  • New vehicle loans grew by 0.52 percent during the first quarter, but decreased by 4.08 percent over the past year.
  • First mortgage balances increased by 0.99 percent during the first three months of 2011 and by 9.04 percent over the course of the last year.
  • The number of bankruptcy filings among members decreased by 3.18 percent during March 2011 compared to a year earlier.
  • Credit card balances decreased by 4.22 percent during the first three months of the year, but have still increased by 3.53 compared to the same period a year ago.
  • Balances for other forms of unsecured loans dropped by 4.49 percent during the first quarter.

Click here to see poll results measuring Georgia consumers' current economic mood, as well as savings and spending trends. More information about Georgia credit unions is available at or on

About Georgia Credit Union Affiliates
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) provides services and support that help credit unions meet the financial services needs of the state’s more than 1.8 million credit union members. GCUA offers advocacy, educational, operational and marketing support for Georgia’s 150 credit unions, with combined total assets of almost $16 billion. More information can be found at

Archived Versions
- Georgians Adjusting to 'New Normal' with Cautious Spending, Doubts on Economic Turnaround
- Georgians' Holiday Spending Plans Reflect Current Consumer Mindset
- Poll: Georgians Cautiously Optimistic on Spending, Financial Future


Trends at Georgia Credit Unions
Consumer Credit
Consumer Savings
Growth Rates
Growth Rates
12 Months
12 Months
Credit Card -4.22% 3.53%   Regular Savings 7.94% 7.22%
Other Unsecured -4.49% -2.63% Money Market Acts 4.34% 15.47%
New Vehicle 0.52% -4.08% Certificates of Deposit -0.89% 1.26%
Used Vehicle 0.68% 6.45% IRA/KEOGH Acts 1.17% 6.91%
1st Mortgage 0.99% 9.04%
Transaction Accounts $ Balances
Other Real Estate -1.68% -1.30% Checking Accounts 11.14% 17.99%
Business 6.71% 33.30%      
Total Loans 0.41% 6.04%   Total Savings 4.64% 8.30%
Number of Bankruptcy Filings:        
YTD # of Filings   1,705        
% Change from YTD March 2010*   -3.18%        
* First 3 months of 2011 compared to first 3 months of 2010.     YTD: 1/1/11 - 3/31/11
12 Mos: 3/10 - 3/11
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates