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Media Contact: Caroline Zimmerman, Editorial Director, 410-740-5560, carolinez@nacm.org

Credit Managers' Index for March Stalls at 55.5

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The National Association of Credit Management’s monthly economic report showed the effects of a continued harsh winter. An improvement in amount of credit extended tempered by a decline in the number of companies applying for credit indicates a continued caution. 

Columbia, MD: March 31, 2014—The Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) saw little change in the readings for March as it slipped a fraction from 55.6 to 55.5. The stall at February and December levels leaves January’s spike as the anomaly in recent months. The index’s readings, which had fluctuated since October, provided cautious expectations of consistent future growth. It was hoped that the February reading was the outlier, rather than a grim thesis for the rest of 2014, but a holding pattern due in part to the effects of a harsh winter is preferred to a decline, leaving room for some optimism about the economy in months to come.

Most of the factors comprising the March CMI stayed the same from the previous month, with a few notable exceptions. The sub-index of favorable factors slipped very slightly from 59.4 to 59. Within this index, sales moved from 59.4 to 59.1, staying on the low side of the last year. In the previous 12 months, the sales reading was above 60 for eight months, but fell into the high 50s for the last two. New credit applications slid from 58.1 to 57.3. Dollar collections dipped from 58.8 to 56.4, posting the most dramatic change in the favorable factors. The only positive shift was in amount of credit extended from 61.4 to 63.1. “The rise in amount of credit extended is better news than it might seem as it suggests some anticipation for better days ahead,” said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl. “That credit was being extended despite the drop in applications for credit is a good sign in general.”

Ex-Im Bank Partners With FCIB Association, Accelerates Access to Export Financing

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ex-im-logoWashington, DC: March 18, 2014—The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today announced its cross-marketing partnership with thousands of credit and finance professionals who are represented by the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB), a division of the National Association of Credit Management. The Bank and FCIB signed a memorandum of understanding that expresses their mutual interest in providing information to business owners about how they may finance and expand export sales while sustaining U.S. jobs.

"At the Ex-Im Bank, our singular focus is equipping U.S. exporters with the tools they need to reach customers around the world and create jobs here at home," remarked Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg. "And we depend upon export finance and business credit professionals across America to connect us with entrepreneurs - particularly those from the small business community - who can benefit from the services we provide. FCIB is the primary network for those credit professionals, so naturally we're excited about the opportunities that this working relationship will provide."

Cforia and NACM Set New Standard for Old Industry Practice

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Columbia, MD: March 6, 2014—The National Association for Credit Management (NACM) and Cforia Software have teamed up to develop a simple, yet unique way for Cforia customers to share commercial credit data. While reporting business credit information is an essential component of building and using a quality credit source, the process is often a challenge for the credit manager and more often a low priority for their tech team. NACM is hoping to change that dynamic through its Preferred Partner Program, of which Cforia is a founding member.

NACM realized that leaders in the industry, such as Cforia, which focuses on automating A/R workflows through improving efficiencies and supporting better credit decisions, want to help their customers more easily participate in what is often the most critical tool in the creditor’s arsenal: the industry trade group. Also referred to as industry credit groups, these groups, and the data-sharing concept as a whole, are loaded with benefits for the creditor, but often forgotten is the positive impact to their customers and the economy as a whole. A solid commercial credit report is critical to fast, accurate and efficient credit granting, of which our economy would come to a standstill without. Segregating consumer credit from commercial credit helps the business owner on a variety of levels.

February Credit Managers' Index Retreats to December Low Point

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February's report on the economy from the National Association of Credit Management shows a fall back to December's level of 55.6. Unclear is whether persistent bad weather or more pervasive problems is to blame for slowing business growth.

Columbia, MD: February 28, 2014—The Credit Managers' Index (CMI), published by the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), seems to having a hard time leaving 2013 behind. The February reading fell to 55.6, sending the CMI back to where it was in December, when the index fell to a recent low point.

Prior to its December drop, the CMI had been improving since July 2013, but the sense at the end of last year was that the economy was stalling in the middle of the holiday spending season. A month later the January index bounced back to levels not seen in over two years, reaching 57.3, suggesting that recovery had finally arrived and accompanied by some expectations of more consistent growth through the rest of 2014. But February's reading indicates that those expectations might've been incorrect, or at least premature, according to NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, PhD. "It appears this will be another one of 'those' years. At least it is starting out that way," he said. "The burning question is yet again, which of these months is going to turn out to be the anomaly?"

NACM Selects Dynavistics as Newest Preferred Partner

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Columbia, MD: February 25, 2014—Dynavistics, Inc. was recently selected as the newest addition to the National Association of Credit Management's (NACM's) Preferred Partner Program. The NACM Preferred Partner Program allows members of the organization to more easily share and access data. Specifically, NACM members will now be able to use Collect-IT—a collection management software distributed by Dynavistics—to extract and report their accounts receivable data as well as gain access to the NACM National Trade Credit Report (NTCR). Collect-IT was designed for credit and collection professionals, providing transparency between the sales, credit and collections functions with features such as credit policy documentation, collection action status, performance tracking and a single sign-on for all users. The NTCR provides businesses with factual, accurate, fresh and relevant information on how a prospective customer pays its invoices so that a decision on whether to sell on credit can be made.

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