Builder Confidence Strong Despite June Letdown

Builder confidence for newly built single-family homes is on the decline, yet overall confidence is still very high. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) slipped two points in June to a reading of 64, the first month-to-month drop since December. However, this is the fifth consecutive month in the 60s. "W...
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Bankruptcy Filings Increase in May

Bankruptcy filings are on the rise. May bankruptcy filings increased 2% year-over-year, according to this week's release from the American Bankruptcy Institute. Commercial filings jumped 3% last month compared to May 2018. Commercial Chapter 11 filings increased 7% in May to nearly 500. "High filing costs place additional debt burdens on struggling...
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Companies Begin to Move Manufacturing Out of China Amid Tariff Threats and Implementation

Amid the threats and implementation of Chinese tariffs, more companies consider moving operations out of China. According to Supply Chain Dive, companies like Apple and Nintendo have plans to move production to Southeast Asia from China. The fourth list of Chinese tariffs will likely be approved halfway through the month of June, impacting Apple an...
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Construction Jobs Maintain Monthly Growth but Future Uncertain

Jobs in the construction industry rose minimally in May but garnered a 3% year-over-year (YOY) increase, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). In its assessment of the latest labor statistics data, ABC reported an additional 4,000 net new construction jobs were added in May, while the overall number of jobs increased to 215,000 co...
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Trade Talks with Mexico Continue Amid Tariff Threats

​ Negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico were set to resume June 6 after President Donald Trump said "not nearly enough" progress was made during a meeting between American officials and Mexico's foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, according to a recent article by Bloomberg. The tariffs are set to be implemented June 10, leaving little time for fur...
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Sears Bankruptcy Creates More Challenges for Suppliers

The most successful business-supplier relationship is one of reliability. When one of the parties fails to hold its own, the relationship becomes harder to maintain and may even suffer as is the case with retailer Sears and its vendors. Sears first filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2018, and about a month later, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court appro...
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Construction Spending Unchanged in April

Construction spending is on the decline year-over-year, yet it remained unchanged in April. April 2019 numbers, released by the Census Bureau earlier this week, are 1.2% behind April 2018 data; however, spending in the first third of 2019 is slightly above the same timetable in 2018. "The clear standout was the public sector, which rose 4.8% during...
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Accounting Error Leads to Fraud Investigation at Metro Bank

When credit managers hear the word "fraud," some will jump to the conclusion that the perpetrators are adversaries outside the company. However, in the case of Metro Bank in the U.K., investors allege that securities fraud has taken place within the bank in addition to "other unlawful business practices." According to The Guardian, two New York-bas...
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April New Single-Family Home Sales Drop After March Rise

Unable to maintain March's upward trajectory, new single-family home sales dropped nearly 7% in April as experts try to pinpoint the cause behind this change in course. According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) report on May 23, the decline in April sales led to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units, following March's...
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May's CMI Continues to Trend Upward

May's Credit Managers' Index (CMI) saw an uptick for the second month in a row, reaching a combined score of 55.7. This is the first month since August and September of 2018 that the CMI saw two consecutive upticks. April's reading came in at 54, meaning the combined score went up more than a point. The combined sales category in favorables&nb...
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Don't Miss Out on Credit Congress 2019

A grand gathering of credit and financial professionals comes just once a year, and this year's Credit Congress and Expo will take place from May 19-22 in Aurora, Colorado. Featured at the conference will be a slew of educational opportunities, exhibitors and unique events outside of credit, yet still exciting to each credit professional. Kicking o...
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Brick and Mortar Retailers’ Future Uncertain Amid Tariff Hikes

Although online shopping has been a constant roadblock for brick and mortar retailers, the latest revelations in the U.S.-Chinese trade war debacle is proving to be yet another hurdle for retailers nationwide, according to financial services firm UBS. President Donald Trump announced last week that the administration will raise tariffs to 25% on $2...
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ACH Network Starts 2019 with Bang

The ACH Network is off to a strong start in 2019. The number of payments on the platform increased 5.8% in the first quarter compared to the previous year, states Nacha. The daily volume of payments also increased 7.5%. "The first quarter results show that the ACH Network is poised for another year of sustained growth," said Nacha Chief Operating O...
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‘Little Reason’ to Worry Over Construction Input Price Increases

To the dismay of contractors, construction input prices saw nearly a 1% increase in April over the prior month, with a substantial increase in pricing year over year (YOY) at 2.4%. On May 9, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported price hikes in four of 11 subcategories in April, while seven declined. According to ABC's analysis of the U...
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New Five-Year Low Reached in Goods Trade Deficit Between US and China

U.S. goods trade deficit with China hit a five-year low during the month of March, according to a recent article by Reuters. With trade tensions between the two countries and the 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, President Trump's actions and push for the "America First" narrative have caused harm to the global economy. With tariff...
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Residential, Nonresidential Construction Jobs Show Signs of Improvement

The construction industry saw a modest gain in new jobs in April with a 3.5% increase in the past year. According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33,000 new net jobs were added between March and April 2019. Since April 2018, open positions in residential building grew by nearly 5% to 39,000 addi...
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West Virginia Implementing Vendor Payment Stoppage

West Virginia is in the process of implementing a two-part payment stoppage for vendors who don't pay state taxes. The Office of the State Auditor made the announcement earlier this month that the state will stop payments to vendors who owe the state money. "The number of vendors to be included in the intercept routine will gradually get larger unt...
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Construction Spending Dips in March

Construction spending is on the decline after a slight dip in March. According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, total construction spending is at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.28 trillion, nearly 1% below February's revised estimate. March is also nearly a percent behind the pace from March 2018. Spending for the first three mon...
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US and China on Road to Agreements in Beijing Trade Talks

China and the U.S. continued trade talks May 1, and the discussions and negotiations will continue into the next week, according to a recent article by Reuters. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the talks "productive" as the two countries remain in a trade war. Both China and the U.S. noted progress had been made on a few contentious to...
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Construction Fraud Leads to Guilty Plea in California

Construction fraud strikes again, this time in California, where two siblings admitted to fraud and embezzlement against the California State Compensation Insurance Fund between January 2012 and March 2017, with a loss of more than $500,000. According to Construction Dive, the owner and office manager—brother and sister, respectively—at Ultimate, I...
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