NACM's Credit Managers' Index, hoping to build momentum from November, closed out 2018 with a slight flop. The December reading slipped 1.6 points back toward its October reading.
"On one level, this is disappointing. It would have been nice to see the index continue tracking upwards, but it is important to remember that any reading over 50 suggests growth, so a reading of 54.2 is certainly respectable," said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D.
Much of the discord was in the favorable factors, which saw a nearly four-point drop out of the 60s for the first time in a year. "The slide in all these factors suggests there has been a slowdown, which is consistent with some of the other data that has been seen in the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), durable goods orders and capacity utilization," Kuehl said.
The combined unfavorables saw a minuscule decline, while still remaining within expansion territory. "At this point, the reason could be seasonal, but if the trend extends to next month, there will be more concerns about the coming year," noted Kuehl.
-Michael Miller, managing editor