COLUMBIA, Md. — Black Thursday has come and gone and the results are mixed. On the one hand there was much more traffic in the stores than last year, but the average consumer has been spending a bit less and more cautiously.
The same pattern seems to have emerged in the business community, as indicated by the shifts in the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI). For the first time in some months, the reports suggest that sales are rising at a pretty rapid clip. The index noted a jump from 51.1 to 55. Given that last year’s number was at 34.4, this is pretty encouraging news heading into the depths of the holiday season.
There was also some positive movement in terms of new credit applications and dollar collections. The new applications number went from 52.7 to 55.4 and that is much improved from the 45.2 notched in Nov. 2008. Dollar collections had been pretty steady for the past several months, ranging from 50 in Nov. 2008 to 53.4 in September this year. For two months in a row that level has improved more dramatically—54.7 in October and 55.8 in November.