Daily News: May 17, 2012

Experian, Moody’s Launch Small Business Credit Index

Experian announced that it has joined forces with Moody’s Analytics to create a business index and detailed report that provides insight into the health of U.S. businesses. The new Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index (Index) will be reported quarterly to show fluctuations in the market and discuss factors that are impacting the business economy.

The Q1/12 report shows that although access to credit remains tight, U.S. commercial credit conditions are improving, with fewer small businesses falling behind on bill payments.

The Experian/Moody’s Analytics Index improved in Q1/12 to 103.2, up from 101.9 in Q4/11. This is the index’s second consecutive quarterly improvement after it fell during much of last year. The index is riding on a wave of increased consumer spending, which is boosting small businesses’ balance sheets.

Other trends seen in the Q1 Experian/Moody’s Index report include:

  • The overall health of U.S. small businesses has improved, thanks to rising consumer confidence and spending, but balance sheets are strengthening unevenly.
    Most metrics of small-business credit quality were essentially unchanged from last quarter, but the average commercial risk score improved on a year-ago basis due to a drop in the percentage of dollars delinquent.

  • Not surprisingly, states where the labor market is healing more vigorously typically are home to small businesses with stronger credit standings. Similarly, small firms in states with high unemployment and lackluster housing markets are struggling.

    To read the full text of the Experian news release, click here.