The roller coaster outlook of corporate credit managers took a dive in May, reaching its lowest level since November.
An index based on surveys of credit managers fell to 53.6 in May, down from 55.8 in April. Both readings indicate the economy continues to grow, but the drop shows that volatility continues.
For four months, the indicator has been up and then down, with May weakening from April, which strengthened from March, said the report from the National Association of Credit Management.
Chris Kuehl, the group’s economist, said the recent downdraft includes slower payments from borrowers, and the weaker collection of debts raises concerns that credit conditions overall may weaken.
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“The sense right now is that companies are less upbeat than they were earlier in the year,” Kuehl said. “The big growth opportunities have not materialized as yet, but there remains some hope they will.”
The credit group’s monthly report offers something of a preview of the more widely watched Institute of Supply Management’s monthly purchasing managers’ index. It is due out Thursday.