In case you were out and about during the last week of August through the Labor Day holiday, as many Americans typically are, here’s a little of what has been going on. Check the Sept. 5 edition of eNews at www.nacm.org for extended stories on some of these items:
- The National Association of Credit Management’s (NACM’s) Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) for August returned to the growth patterns of earlier this summer. The numbers look impressive again, and the index sits at 56.4. The August numbers are the best in over 18 months, and higher than the previous peak in June. Sales, new credit applications and dollar collections also surged in the August index.
- (Not featured in eNews) Another statistical report suggested that Europe is starting to rebound from its prolonged downturn. Led by manufacturing, the Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index rose for the second straight month, to a level of 51.5. It is the fastest growth rate for the region in more than two years, according to Markit. The firm cautioned that the turnaround, while positive news, will take a while to be felt and that problems such as unemployment and work backlogs could sit unchanged or slightly worsen while the recovery filters through euro zone.
- Municipalities saw things going their way in two important Chapter 9 cases. San Bernardino, California has been declared eligible for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy protection as a judge denied objections from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). In Detroit’s Chapter 9 case, Judge it was ruled that constitutionality will not be considered when the eligibility hearing is held on Sept. 18. The date shows an accelerated timetable, as it was originally slated for October. In other municipal bankruptcy news, the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania likely will not attempt a filing for the second times because it and creditors tied to a failed trash incineration retrofit project have forged a deal. That pact reportedly includes sale of the incineration operation, accepted upfront losses by its primary creditor and leading of parking structure operations for up to four decades.
- The American Subcontracts Association (ASA) filed an amicus curiae in a U.S. Supreme Court Case that revolved around a lawsuit of a withheld final payment from a general contractor to a sub, and that general contractor’s attempt to move the case to a Virginia court despite the small (five-employee) subcontracting being based in and doing all work on the project in question in the state of Texas. ASA came out against venue shopping perceived as a ploy to hurt small operations without the means to defend their cases far from home.
-Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer