Solid Recovery in the January Credit Managers' Index
NACM’s Credit Managers' Index (CMI) for January 2014, which is now available at www.nacm.org (see links at bottom), rebounded to a surprisingly high level after a dismal 2013 finish. This now begs the question, which of the last three months is signaling the real trend? In December, there was a palpable gloom falling over the economy where the statistics were concerned. The January data dispels that mood a little.
All of the favorable factors improved in January, headlined by sales regaining some of its lost momentum and climbing back into the 60s as well as a surge in dollar collections. There was also a very significant jump in amount of credit extended, which is at its best level in many months.
The unfavorable factor index also provided some good news. The majority of the factors showed improvement, and some truly regained the momentum that had been building in the months prior to December. Accounts placed for collection and dollar amount beyond terms improved quite a bit, and there was similar uptick in disputes. The latter washed away worries at the end of the year that struggling companies would be pushed over the edge and would start to become a challenge from a collection point of view.
Data from January, like November, suggest the low reading to end 2012 was likely an anomaly. The February CMI will attract much attention as analysts seek to determine if there is a clear trend of positivity in play.
More coverage of the January CMI is available in this week’s eNews. For a full breakdown, which will be available by Friday morning (EST), view the complete CMI report for January 2014 online. CMI archives may also be viewed on NACM’s website.