Credit Availability and Conditions Continue to Improve in July

We have yet another economic report this Thursday. This was a report from the National Association of Credit Managers (NACM). You can guess what they track — credit availability, accessibility and performance trends. The July NACM Credit Managers’ Index showed an improved confidence and rose to 56.8 from 56.1 in July. For those who are not familiar with the NACM, it supports more than 15,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with services, tools and information.

Thursday’s report is far from stellar, but it does show a continued improvement in credit conditions and availability.

The readings for the favorable and unfavorable factor indices improved. This rose to 63.7 in July from 62.4 in June for the favorable factor index — the highest level in more than four years. The unfavorable factor index rose to 52.2 from 52.0, which was not as good as earlier this year but represented as still trending in the preferred direction.

Sales rose in July and went back to the level set in May. New credit applications rose to a yearly high. Dollar collections recovered and went back into growth, and the amount of credit extended went handily higher. On the negative front, there were actually improvements in disputes, in dollar amount beyond terms and in dollar amount of customer deductions.

Here is the best news: the rejection rate of credit applications also improved. Also, accounts placed for collection declined and filings for bankruptcies fell.

A combined quote from the NACM described July by saying:

The overall sense is that real progress in economic recovery is being made and the future looks brighter. But, not to rain on the parade, these numbers also looked good at the start of the year, and it has taken until mid-summer to regain that momentum. Winter weather was partly responsible for this struggle, as was the significant decline in exports of American goods. The rebound in exports played a major role in getting the US back to growth, but the caution is that many of those importing nations are still not in very good economic shape… The CMI has joined this parade with a set of readings that mark highs not seen in over a year in some cases. Given that the CMI is often predictive, it would appear that economic conditions for the coming months will continue tracking in a positive direction.

A full table and data has been provided in the graphic below from the NACM.

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