COLUMBIA, Md. — For the sixth straight month, the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) indicates that there is growth in the availability of capital. The July index stood at 48.
Over the last two months, the dominant economic debate has focused on whether the recession has already ended, is ending now or is in the process of ending. The data coming from the housing sector is generally very positive with sales of both existing and new homes up. There are improvements in some of the manufacturing indicators, and some data suggests overseas sales have been improving.
At the same time, there are concerns about the continued high rate of unemployment and the lingering impact of the downturn. Data from the Conference Board and the University of Michigan show some erosion of confidence lately, but at the core of that measure is whether consumers and businesses are seeing improved access to capital.
The latest CMI suggests that credit markets are continuing to edge toward expansion. If the trend of the last several months continues, the index may soon break above 50. The current score for the combined index is 48, up from June’s number of 46.4. Once the index crests 50, it will signal that expansion is taking place.