Correction: NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index Recovers

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Correction: The November economic report from the National Association of Credit Management depicts a slightly lower combined overall score month-on-month.

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The challenge this time of year is that the holidays can skew data. We have already seen retail affected as consumers have been ... focused exclusively on discounted items—lots of traffic, but low profits as these goods don’t carry the highest of margins.

Correction to Headline: NACM’s CMI Dips Slightly in November

According to the November report of the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), the overall index score held close, albeit slightly lower (53.5 to 52.9), than it has been over the past few months. Interestingly, however, favorable factors improved marginally, while unfavorable factors fell nearly two points to its lowest reading this year.

When examining the specifics, some patterns are visible and show a certain amount of continuity over the last few months, noted NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. Sales returned to numbers reminiscent of July; new credit applications dipped 3.5 points, which is common for this time of year; and dollar collections jumped 6.5 points to a level not seen this year. “Improved business forecasts may have prompted more interest in obtaining credit,” Kuehl said.

Unfavorable factor categories saw more movement, however. A dip in rejections of credit applications combined with a drop in new credit applications has raised some concerns. “There are fewer applicants, but more of them are getting rejected,” Kuehl pointed out. A hard drop in the reading for dollar amount beyond terms is likely an anomaly given the rest of the reading, he noted.

A slight reduction in the number of survey responses may have impacted a few of the readings because dramatic changes in a given sector or region could have an outsized impact on the index, Kuehl cautioned. Overall, the data are consistent with what has been noted through the previous year, he said. “The challenge this time of year is that the holidays can skew data. We have already seen retail affected as consumers have been active, but focused exclusively on discounted items—lots of traffic, but low profits as these goods don’t carry the highest of margins.”

“This has been an odd month and for lots of reasons—obvious and not so obvious,” Kuehl explained. “Politics has affected the numbers more than it usually would, and there was a slightly smaller sample size for the CMI this month. That allows for some anomalies, which will take a while to sort out.”

For a complete breakdown of the manufacturing and service sector data and graphics, view the November 2016 report at http://web.nacm.org/CMI/PDF/CMIcurrent.pdf. CMI archives may also be viewed on NACM’s website at http://www.nacm.org/cmi/cmi-archive.html.

About the National Association of Credit Management
NACM, headquartered in Columbia, MD, supports more than 14,000 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.

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Angela Culver
National Association of Credit Management
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