November wasn’t quite the Thanksgiving businesses’ credit managers had hoped, according to surveys they completed during the month.
The survey by the National Association of Credit Management showed a decline in managers’ outlook along a number of fronts. An index generated from their responses fell to 52.6 in November from 53.9 in October. It fell lower than September’s reading of 52.9 and was the lowest reading of the past year.
Any reading above 50 indicates expectations of continued economic expansion. The slowdown in November, however, poses some concerns for economist Chris Kuehl.
“It seems that companies are struggling at this point in the year and that is not a good sign given that this is the time when these companies are expected to make the bulk of their money for the year. This really applies mostly to retail, but the manufacturers respond to that retail drive,” Kuehl said in a release from the association.
The survey looks at favorable signs such as sales, loan applications and amounts of credit extended, as well as unfavorable indicators such as applications rejections, bankruptcy filings, accounts assigned to collections and others.
It follows the same methods as the more widely followed Institute for Supply Management’s monthly look at purchasing managers’ outlooks. Its index report for November is due out Tuesday morning. Its October index stood at a virtually neutral 50.1 reading. A reading below 50 suggests an economic contraction.