The economic outlook of companies’ credit managers improved modestly during December, according to a survey by the National Association of Credit Management.
An index based on their responses edged higher to 52.8 from November’s 52.6. A reading higher than 50 indicates economic growth. The survey looks at trends in sales, credit applications and other favorable factors as well as bankruptcies, credit rejections and other unfavorable factors.
“The good news is that the numbers did not dip as some had expected,” economist Chris Kuehl said in an announcement of the group’s report. “The other good news is that most of the stability was in the unfavorable categories and that is slightly more encouraging as far as the future is concerned.”
Results were weaker among manufacturing firms’ responses with “dramatically declining” trends in sales and amounts of credit extended, the report said.
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The monthly credit manager survey report precedes the more widely watched report of purchasing managers’ outlook by the Institute for Supply Management. Its release is expected Monday.