Samsung Invests Big Money in AI Amid Smartphone Security Issues

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the wave of the future and Samsung knows it. The South Korean conglomerate announced Aug. 8 that it plans to invest more than $22 billion (25 trillion Korean won) over a three-year period to expand AI and additional technological research. In an effort to fuel growth through 2020, Samsung states it will also funnel t...
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Shipment Delays Possible After Apple Supplier Suffers Computer Virus Outbreak

Technology is a blessing and a curse, and at the moment, it is more of the latter for Apple. On Aug. 3, one of Apple's suppliers suffered a computer virus outbreak, which CNBC reports may lead to shipment delays on behalf of the supplier. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) manufactures the chip processors used in Apple iPhones. According...
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China Retaliates With US Tariffs

The trade and tariff wars continue between the U.S. and China, this time with China threatening new tariffs. China announced Aug. 3 it will impose a retaliatory tariff on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, according to a recent Reuters article.  The tariffs will affect liquefied natural gas (LNG) and select aircraft, with China threatening to ad...
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Construction Spending Sees Yearly Climb, Despite MoM Dip

After steadily increasing over the past year, construction spending in June 2018 set the industry back a step month-over-month (MoM), yet maintained decent figures year-over-year (YOY). On August 1, MarketWatch reported about a 1% drop in June construction spending but more than a 6% climb since last year. Revised calculations revealed a MoM increa...
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July 2018’s CMI Forecasts Negative Outlooks in Long Term

The Credit Managers' Index (CMI) for July showcases an overall drop in both the service and manufacturing sectors, setting the CMI back to a point that has not been this low since January of this year. While the current economic environment has boasted a speedy quarterly growth of 4.1%, an unemployment rate between 3.8% and 4%, and an expansion of ...
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B2B ACH Network Increases in 2018 2Q

The ACH Network continues to grow following another solid performance in the second quarter of 2018. ACH debit and credit transactions increased by 6.2% compared to the second quarter of 2017, according to NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association. That is equivalent to 5.7 billion more transactions. "The ACH Network provides substantial value to e...
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Auto Suppliers Question Motive Behind Tesla’s Refund Request

Suppliers for Tesla Inc. are scratching their heads after the electric car company sent an unusual memo to some of its suppliers last week asking for a partial cash refund to boost profitability. According to Bloomberg, less than 10 suppliers received the memo, which Morningstar Analyst David Whiston described as "troubling" in an interview with th...
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Think Before You Click: Avoiding Email Scams

Think twice before you open that unrecognizable email because it may cost you. Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) updated its data on business email compromise (BEC) scams, which have increased steadily around the globe in less than two years. In a public service announcement on July 12, the FBI stated the scams are ...
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UK Councils Not Following 30-Day Payment Rule

Local authorities in the United Kingdom, known as councils, are facing backlash from construction associations after freedom of information (FOI) requests revealed about 90% of councils were not enforcing construction firms to pay supply chains within 30 days as required by legislation. Under "Miscellaneous Provisions" in Chapter Nine of the Public...
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Santander Bank Eases Customers Into Digitized Banking and Loan Payments

Santander Bank announced July 18 it will begin using nCino technology to speed up business lending operations. This new integration will be available to customers as the year progresses, adding more features gradually; using nCino is estimated to cut loan-decision time by 40%. The operating system nCino uses clouds to create omnichannel access for ...
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Safety Net Protects Canadian Automakers From Possible Retaliatory US Tariffs

Canadian suppliers worried about retaliatory tariffs from the U.S. can breathe a sigh of relief, at least those working in the automotive industry. Tariffs on U.S. steel imports have raised costs across the sector; however, according to Reuters, Canadian government customs provisions are in place that could "reduce or refund import duties" to compa...
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US Import Prices Down, Not Sustainable for Future

The price of U.S. imports saw the largest drop in two years as of June—but this drop is not likely to last after tariffs on foreign goods are imposed. Import prices jumped by 0.9% in May, while June saw a sharp decrease of 0.4%, a dip that comes close only to the drop in February 2016, according to the Labor Department. Imported food saw a signific...
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Construction Material Prices ‘Rising Rapidly’

Economic progress is dwindling in the eyes of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) economists who reported a nearly 10% gain in 2018 construction material prices in June over last year. ABC noted a 9.6% increase in prices compared to 2017, with a 9.8% gain in nonresidential construction, during its analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics d...
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‘Imminent, Serious’ Inflation on the Horizon

Inflation is becoming increasingly problematic for U.S. producers. Unanticipated gains in June's Producer Price Index (PPI), released July 11, have economists predicting rising costs for manufacturing and construction material in connection to the U.S. administration's tariffs on various imports. According to Reuters , the PPI reached an annual inc...
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Survey Shows Tax Reform Likely Will Not Increase Spending

Even with a tax reform passed by the Trump administration, corporate spending will likely not see an increase, according to a report from the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). Forty percent of the 640 corporate treasury and finance executives surveyed do not expect their spending to change in the near future. Even though 60% said they ...
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Saskatchewan to Introduce Prompt Payment Legislation

Another Canadian province is updating legislation to help the construction industry. Initial amendments to Ontario's Construction Lien Act went into effect July 1, increasing lien time tables to give contractors and subcontractors an extra 15 days to preserve a lien. New rules to prompt payments will go into effect in fall 2019. Saskatchewan is fol...
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UK Trade Credit Insurance Claims Up 50%

Trade credit insurance claims across the United Kingdom are at their highest level in nearly 10 years. There were just shy of 4,000 new claims during the first quarter of 2018, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). "Never has the importance of trade credit insurance been greater—the survival of any business could be at risk withou...
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June CMI Dips Slightly, Still Near Cycle High

The Credit Managers' Index (CMI) from NACM retreated slightly in June, dropping from a 12-month high in May to 56.3 this month. Despite a modest decline in June, credit managers are reporting continued improvement in dollar collections after an unexpected fallout in April. The overall combined CMI remained above a score of 56 for two consecutive mo...
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Rising Interest Rates to Affect Corporate Credit

Corporate credit growth during the first quarter of 2018 remained strong despite an uptick in rates. However, it is uncertain if businesses can continue to keep pace with growing interest rates during this economic expansion. "Businesses appear to be taking the recent series of rate hikes by the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] and subsequent r...
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NACM's Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management Kicks Off

NACM's Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management (GSCFM) is underway, with first- and second-year students diving into intensive courses. Instructors Wanda Borges, Esq.; Susan Fee, M.Ed. L.P.C.; Charles Mulford, Ph.D., CPA; and William J. Russell, JD, kicked off the first three days of classes. During the demanding, 10-day-long program, st...
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