The Credit Manager’s Index dropped to a record low of 52.4 percent after it fell for the fourth consecutive month during December.
The CMI is a monthly survey of the business economy from the perspective of the commercial credit and collections industry.
Six of the indexes’ 10 components fell, including a 4 percent drop in dollar collections.
Representatives from the National Association of Credit Managers said the deterioration mirrors that of other major indicators in the macroeconomy, including disappointing holiday sales, a weakening employment market, accelerating declines in housing prices, downgrades of banks and insurers, plummeting consumer confidence and a rapid increase of defaults on many types of credit.
The index was launched in January 2003 to provide financial analysts with another economic indicator.