US Proposes Tariffs on EU Imports, Mostly Food

The U.S. proposed tariffs on goods from the European Union, totaling $4 billion, according to a recent article by Supply Chain Dive. Many of the items on the list are food-related—cheese, olives, meats, pasta and whiskey—but some metals and chemicals made the list as well. Most of the controversy surrounding these tariffs stems from a dispute over ...
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Construction Spending Saw a Decline in May

Construction spending fell during the month of May, according to a recent report by Wells Fargo. Construction expenditures dropped by 0.8%, and residential spending is still much weaker compared to public spending. Residential spending fell 0.6%, and nonresidential spending fell by almost 1%⁠—the first time nonresidential has dipped in about a year...
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June CMI Disappoints After Small Positive Trend

The June Credit Managers' Index (CMI) is not what credit professionals would have hoped for following two straight months of improvement; however, the report is not all bad despite the 0.7-point decline. June's combined reading of 55 is still comfortably within expansion territory (score above 50). "Last month we were grasping at straws and thought...
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Contractors Show Confidence After Second Quarter’s Upswing

Contractors are looking into the past to prepare for the future and, according to the latest Commercial Construction Index (CCI), the future is positive. USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released the second-quarter CCI, where contractors responded with more optimism than the previous quarter. On June 19, Construction Dive reporte...
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Steel Industry Representatives Challenge Tariffs

Representatives from the steel industry went up to the Hill this week to challenge President Trump's tariffs on global steel imports, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, according to Supply Chain Dive. The representatives from the steel industry argued the tariffs are unconstitutional. Since the Supreme Court refused the ...
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Capital One Enhancing B2B Footprint

Fortune 500 company Capital One is developing its business-to-business (B2B) services web. Capital One is the latest company to expand its B2B and small- and medium-sized business reach following others such as Visa, Southwest, RBS, UBS, WESCO and others. The company announced last week the acquisition of Maine-based BlueTarp Financial, which speci...
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Existing Home Sales Increase During Month of May

During the month of May, U.S. existing home sales increased by 2.5% compared to last month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million units, according to a recent article by Reuters. Lower interest rates for mortgages helped give the data a boost this month. Reuters speculated the existing home sale rate would reach 5.25 million un...
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Small Businesses Feeling Positive About Months to Come

Heading into the summer months, small business owners are feeling hopeful about the business opportunities ahead, according to the latest findings from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). On June 11, FNIB announced that several components in the Small Business Optimism Index improved—the overall index increased 1.5 points for a ...
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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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