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Media Contact: Diana Mota, Associate Editor, 410-740-5560,

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF Commerce Releases FIRST Spanish-language Trade Finance Guide: Easy-to-Use Guide Helps Small Businesses Export

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration has published the inaugural Spanish language version of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters. The guide is an easy-to-understand and use tool created specifically to help U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) overcome one of their major export challenges, how to get paid from export sales, thereby helping turn their export opportunities into actual sales.

FCIB and U.S. Commercial Service Sign Strategic Partnership in Support of Export Initiative

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Columbia, MD: May 6, 2013—The Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB) and the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase awareness in the U.S. business community, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses, about exporting and the tools and resources our organizations provide to help them succeed.

Credit Managers’ Index for April Posts Significant Decline

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The National Association of Credit Management's CMI for April 2013 reports more companies feeling the stress of the slow economy, not meeting payment terms.

Columbia, Maryland: April 30, 2013—The Credit Managers' Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) for April fell to levels not seen in over a year, reflecting the sluggishness of the overall economy. The 53.3 mark is the lowest in over 16 months, the same weak levels seen in the "spring swoon" of 2012. The reading is still in expansion territory, but it is certainly heading in the wrong direction. There are some positive notes, but for the most part the data shows an economy struggling with dual issues: the favorable factors, which signal growth, are not offering encouragement, and the unfavorable factors, which indicate whether companies are in a credit crisis, are exhibiting weakness.

NACM's Credit Managers' Index for March 2013 Posts Slight Decline to 54.9

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The March report shows a steadiness, but nothing to inspire confidence in the economy.

Government inactivity and budget cuts related to sequester are the likely culprits.

Columbia, Maryland: March 29, 2013—The March Credit Managers' Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) fell slightly from 54.9 to 54.2, with both favorable and unfavorable factor indexes dipping by roughly equal amounts. Some individual showed significant movement, but there was no clear signal from any of the factors as far as financial stress is concerned, or anything to cause much confidence either.

Sales slipped from its position of 59.2 in February to 57.4 in March. This is a fairly substantial decline of 1.8, but at 57.4, the index is as high as it was in December. "The main concern is that for the last year, the sales reading has been averaging in the low 60s and now there seems to be a struggle to get there again," said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, PhD. On the encouraging side, the new credit applications number rose slightly (56.7 to 56.9). "A significant desire to expand seems to exist, and businesses are starting to more aggressively pursue credit," said Kuehl. "However, serious issues remain in balancing the desire for more credit and creditworthiness." Dollar collections also improved (57.5 to 57.7), and is continuing to trend in the right direction, but amount of credit extended fell (62.5 to 61.6), suggesting some return to caution on the part of trade creditors. The important point is that this category remains above 60, which is a healthy sign, Kuehl noted.

NACM Unveils New Designation to Focus on Advanced Financial Analysis

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Columbia, Maryland: March 11, 2013—Educational certifications are an essential tool in the continuing advancement and growth of many business professionals. They provide the means by which individuals, especially those new to any industry or field, can expand their knowledge and alert prospective employers to their expertise. At the same time, in order to meet the needs of these professionals in a continually-evolving business climate, it is imperative that these professional designation programs also evolve. The National Association of Credit Management (NACM) has completed the most current review of its Certification Program, and is pleased to announce its latest world-class designation: the Certified Credit and Risk Analyst (CCRA) designation.

The CCRA was created after NACM's Education Department updated the Certified Business Fellow (CBF) designation program and one of the required certificate courses, Financial Statement Analysis II, which was renamed Financial Statement Analysis, Interpretation and Credit Risk Assessment to better reflect its emphasis. The updated course is now the cornerstone of the CCRA. "We realized that Financial Statement Analysis II wasn't for everyone, and that it was a bit of a roadblock to the CBF for some members. However, we also recognized that some credit and finance department personnel need that in-depth, advanced financial analysis background, which is why this designation was created," said NACM President Robin Schauseil, CAE.

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