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Media Contact: Diana Mota, Associate Editor, 410-740-5560, dianam@nacm.org

NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index shows signs of improvement in April

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 April’s economic report from the National Association of Credit Management shows slight growth, with the combined index increasing from 53.4 last month to 53.9.   

Columbia, MD: May 1, 2015--The April report of the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) improved by a fraction and rose to 53.9, comfortably above contraction territory. “It would appear that a collapsed energy sector, winter worries and trepidation regarding dollar values and the interest rate weighed pretty heavily on previous months,” said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. “But most of these shouldn’t be issues by the summer.”

Upon receiving updated data for February and March, Kuehl revised some of the numbers and found them not as dramatically negative as originally reported. Hence, improvement in April from the updated data is only slight.

In the combined manufacturing and service sectors, the index of favorable factors increased from 58.3 in March to 59.8 in April. The categories of sales, new credit applications, dollar collections and amount of credit extended all showed increases. The index of unfavorable factors decreased slightly from 50.1 in March to 50.0 in April. Dollar amount beyond terms increased, while rejection of credit applications, disputes, dollar amount of customer deductions and filings for bankruptcies all decreased. Accounts placed for collection remained unchanged from March to April at 49.8.

NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index drops even further in March

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 March’s economic report from the National Association of Credit Management dropped to the lowest it’s been this year. The combined index fell from 53.2 in February to 51.2 this month.

Columbia, MD: March 31, 2015—The March report of the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) fell further this month indicating that some serious financial stress is manifesting in the data.

“We now know that the readings of last month were not a fluke or some temporary aberration that could be marked off as something related to the weather,” said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl. “These readings are as low as they have been since the recession started and to see everything start to get back on track would take a substantial reversal at this stage.”

The combined score of 51.2 is moving dangerously close to contraction zone. The index of favorable factors dropped to 55.4 while the unfavorable factors drastically fell to 48.5—a place this index has not seen since after the end of the recession. “The signal this sends is that many companies are not nearly as healthy as it has been assumed and that there is considerably less resilience in the business sector than assumed,” said Kuehl.

NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index for February on a Decline

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February's economic report from the National Association of Credit Management dropped to the lowest it's been this year. The combined index fell from 55.1 in January to 53.2 this month.

Columbia, MD: February 27, 2015–The February report of the Credit Managers' Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) significantly dropped this month, an unexpected decrease given where projections were a few months ago. The monthly economic indicator's combined scored declined to 53.2 in February, down from 55.1 in January.

"That is a nasty drop and at no point in the last year has it been that low," said Chris Kuehl, Kansas City-based NACM economist. "In December it stood at 54.9 and that was seen as bad enough. The reduction in the overall score was reflected in reductions across the board­­â€”favorable and unfavorable factors and in both the manufacturing and service sectors."

The survey measures activity in manufacturing and service sectors among business-to-business credit professionals. According to the survey, the index of favorable factors fell to 57.2 and sales dropped to 59.—both categories falling from the 60 range since March 2014. The new credit applications category also set a record, dropping from 58.3 to 54.4.

NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index for January Starts Year in Favorable Direction

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Movement in January’s economic report from the National Association of Credit Management delivers a cautiously optimistic start to the new year as the index improves slightly. The combined index rose this month after two consecutive months of slippages.

Columbia, MD: January 30, 2015–The January report of the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) has joined the ranks of the cautiously optimistic. After two consecutive months of slippages, the monthly economic indicator’s combined score moved forward to 55.1 in January, up from 54.9 in December.

“This is certainly not a spectacular turnaround as the index was at 55.8 and 57.0 in November and October, respectively,” said Chris Kuehl, Kansas City-based NACM economist. “The fact is January’s reading is still the third lowest in the past year, but it is trending in the right direction this month.”

NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index for December Ends Year on Weak Note

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The movement in December’s economic report from the National Association of Credit Management ended the year on a disappointing note, creating the sense that economic momentum has stalled. All eyes are on January in the hopes that the slide doesn’t deepen.

Columbia, MD: December 31, 2014—While other economic indicators remained strong, the December report of the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI)  from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) shows several categories with lows not seen since March 2014. Overall, the combined numbers for manufacturing and service sectors fell to 54.9, compared with 55.8 in November. “It would have been nice to end the year on a high note,” said Chris Kuehl, PhD, NACM economist. Although durable goods orders were robust, employment numbers solid and retail sales better than many had expected, CMI data ended the year by falling over two consecutive months to its worst numbers since the start of 2014. “That is a real worry,” Kuehl said.

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