ICM UK Credit Managers’ Index shows signs for optimism
Press Release – 12 December 2013
Confidence levels among UK credit managers are continuing to show signs of improvement, and companies are improving the speed with which they collect the cash according to the latest ICM Credit Managers’ Index (CMI – Q3 2013).
With a headline index of 57.2 compared to 55.0 to end September 2013, the index is 2.2 points higher than the second quarter of 2013 (55.0).
The Manufacturing sector has again continued to show signs of improvement to 56.1 (from 55.5); confidence within the Services sector also slightly improved, rising 3.1 points to 57.8.
Favourable factors across both sectors have continued on the same trajectory, increasing quite considerably – up a further 4.3 to 69.7. The figures behind this rise include an increase in new applications (+2.7 to 64.9) as well as continued increase in sales (+5.0). The index for order book has also risen considerably by 5.1 points to 71.8.
Unfavourable factors, which have been negative for seven consecutive quarters, improved by 1.3 points to 51.9, although show a somewhat mixed picture. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO – the measure of the average number of days that a company takes to collect the money after a sale has been made) has shown a marked improvement (up 3.6 to 53.8), as has the index relating to the number of credit applications that were rejected increased (up 1.7 points to 48.8).
Philip King, Chief Executive of the ICM, says the initial signs of recovery are being sustained across the country: “While these signs of recovery have been evident in the South East for some time, 11 of the 12 regions in the UK are now showing expansion, with the West Midlands having a 10 percent increase in its headline CMI score to 56.”
Five sectors (including automotive and telecoms) have recorded scores of more than 60; construction also showed signs of improvement (a score of 58.4 – up by 19 percent). Only three sectors have scores that show concern: Oil & Gas, Basic Resources and Food & Beverage.
The latest CMI prompted 500 responses from credit managers working in both the Manufacturing and Services sectors. The companies were broadly split by region, although slightly weighted to businesses in London and the southeast.
The CMI is a diffusion index, producing ‘scores’ of between one and 100 (typically in a range of 40 – 60). Ten equally weighted factors are included – three favourable and seven unfavourable – and the index calculated on a simple average of the 10 factors.
The Institute of Credit Management (ICM) is Europe’s largest credit management organisation, and the second largest globally. The trusted leader in expertise for all credit matters, it represents the profession across trade, consumer and export credit, and all credit-related services. Formed over 70 years ago, it is the only such organisation accredited by Ofqual and it offers a comprehensive range of services and bespoke solutions for the credit professional as well as services and advice for the wider business community, including the acclaimed ICM/BIS Managing Cashflow Guides (www.cicm.com).
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