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

NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index Shows Incremental Growth in May

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May’s economic report from the National Association of Credit Management shows slight growth, with the combined index increasing from 53.9 last month to 54.1.   

The May report of the  Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) reflected a small increase this month. May’s combined index is back to 54.1, the same reading as recorded in February. While the reading is certainly respectable, most of last year saw a higher combined score—in the 56 range.

“The word of the day seems to be ‘incremental,’” said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. “There are still signs of growth and some stability. The problem is that there was an expectation of more by this time.”

The CMI index of favorable factors declined from 59.8 in April to 58.8 this month, and the index of unfavorable factors are at 50.9— just above the contraction zone. The good news, however, is the overall index is not as low as the 53.4 reading posted in March. The biggest drop this month in the combined sectors came in the sales category, slipping from 59.1 to 57.1—the lowest it has been in the last two years. “This suggests that there remains a lot of caution among consumers and business buyers alike—something that has been reinforced by the durable goods data of late,” said Kuehl.

NACM Spotlights Improving Business Culture

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The National Association of Credit Management (NACM) kicked off the first full day of its 119th annual Credit Congress on Monday in St. Louis. The opening General Session focused on making positive changes within the organization--and therefore, the entire B2B credit industry--and improving NACM member resources, including the National Trade Credit Report and eNews, as well as its ongoing lobbying work regarding federal bankruptcy reform.

Keynote Speaker Jim Knight, author of "Culture That Rocks," told the session comprised of more than 1,000 trade credit and financial professionals that a company's culture shapes so much of their performance now and in the future. "Celebrate heritage, but focus on culture," Knight advised, adding that culture focuses on today's behaviors, not yesterday's habits.
Knight, who spent a majority of his career working for Hard Rock International, played heavily on music analogies explaining that everyone in a band "needs to sing off the same sheet of music" and has an important role. "We need rock stars (not lip-synchers) to amp up the band," he said. Managers need to work hard to create an atmosphere that makes people never want to go on another job interview, or perhaps, in extreme cases, even get a tattoo of the company logo on their body--a move that would show true dedication, Knight quipped.

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 board­­—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.

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