The seesaw effect in the numbers continues, but the good news is that the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from NACM rebounded nicely from October’s combined score of 55.5, to 56.6 in November. As usual, much of the improvement is in the favorable factors.
“There were some aspects of this growth that are familiar and some that are more unique to this set of readings,” the report states. “The familiar part is that most of the gain was in the favorable factors, although there was also a small improvement in the unfavorable categories as well.”
Among the favorable factors, the sales category is as strong as it has been since the recession and is near a record high at 68.3. Improvement was also seen in the reading for new credit applications. Though dollar collections has been a problem category through most of 2017, it improved this month. In addition, the amount of credit extended remains very high at 67.8. “This category has been performing well for the last few years as the bigger credit seekers have been asking for larger amounts consistently,” NACM’s Economist Chris Kuehl said.
Though there was good news among the unfavorable categories, some are still in contraction territory, indicating there is more negativity to work through. Rejections of credit applications saw improvement, good news when paired with the growth in credit applications, and the accounts placed for collection climbed out of the contraction zone. Disputes, dollar amount beyond terms and dollar amount of customer deductions all stayed in the contraction zone, however, though all saw some upward movement from the previous month. The only reading among the unfavorables to move downward was filings for bankruptcies, though it was a small decline.
“Once again, the real story is not the month-over-month performance of the CMI but the major differences between readings for the favorable and nonfavorable data,” Kuehl said. “If one looked at just one or the other there would be radically different conclusions as far as the health of the overall economy.”
For a complete breakdown of the manufacturing and service sector data and graphics, view the November 2017 report at web.nacm.org/CMI/PDF/CMIcurrent.pdf. CMI archives may also be viewed on NACM’s website at nacm.org/cmi/cmi-archive.html.
About the National Association of Credit Management
NACM, headquartered in Columbia, MD, supports more than 13,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information. NACM and its network of affiliated associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information, education, products and services designed to improve the management of business credit and accounts receivable. NACM’s collective voice has influenced federal legislative policy results concerning commercial business and trade credit to our nation’s policy makers for more than 100 years, and continues to play an active part in legislative issues pertaining to business credit and corporate bankruptcy. NACM's annual Credit Congress & Exposition conference is the largest gathering of credit professionals in the world.