National Association of Credit Managers Index

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The Central Banks Are Losing Control Of The System

Evidence is multiplying
Friday, June 5, 2015, 10:46 AM

Executive Summary

  • What the NACM Index and the Atlanta GDPNow are telling us about the odds of returning to recession
  • Bond market volatility is picking up
  • Are central banks are losing their control?
  • Why monitoring credit markets will be our best indicator of the next downturn

If you have not yet read Part 1: As Goes The Credit Market, So Goes The World available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

That indicator is the current level of the National Association of Credit Managers Index.  Although not wildly well known, the National Association of Credit Managers Index is an indicator deserving of attention and monitoring immediately ahead.

As per the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), the Credit Managers Index is a monthly survey of responses from US credit and collections professionals rating factors such as sales, credit availability, new credit applications, accounts placed on collection, etc.  The NACM tells us that numeric response levels above 50 represent an economy in expansionary mode, which means readings below 50 connote economic contraction.  For now, the index rests in territory connoting economic expansion, but the index is also sitting quite near a 6 year low.  We’ve been here before in the current cycle as the economy has moved in fits and starts in terms of the character of growth:

In a prior discussion, I mentioned the slowing in the US economy in the first quarter of 2015.  I highlighted the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model that turned out to be very correct in its assessment of Q1 US GDP.  While the Atlanta Fed was predicting a 0.1% Q1 GDP growth rate number, the Blue Chip Economists were expecting 1.4% growth.  When the 0.2% number was reported, it turns out the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model was virtually right on the mark.  As of now, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model is predicting a... » Read more