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, 2014â€”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?"