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Even More Fodder for the Bulls?

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Published : May 01st, 2012
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As I noted in "More Fodder for the Bulls," Wall Street really seems to love bad news these days. Given that, here's a story that should really get them pumped up:

"Economic Gloom Gathering, Credit Managers Suggest" (

The latest poll of credit managers reports a dip in collections and sales, adding to the year-over-year trend of an optimistic beginning that weakens as the year progresses.

Economists have said many times since the 2008 financial crisis that the recovery will be a long time coming and that it will be hard. So far, optimistic signs have predominated during the first half of a given year, followed by reasons for pessimism about the U.S. economy.

The latest monthly barometer from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) reinforces that fact, dipping in April for the first time in five months to 55.1 compared to 56.2 in March.

The trade association surveys about 900 credit managers each month on a range of favorable and unfavorable factors. In its report released today, NACM said “the robust growth that started the year has faded somewhat, provoking concerns that the economy will start to retreat for the third time in as many years.”

Partly feeding the concern is a slowdown in payments between companies, which is one of the first signs of a downturn, according to Chris Kuehl, an economist for NACM. For the most part, he says, companies are acting cautiously by putting some of its late-paying customers on their watch lists. But they're not yet turning away customers because of slowed collections.

Michael J. Panzner 


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Michael J. Panzner is a 25-year veteran of the global stock, bond, and currency markets and the author of Financial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future from Four Impending Catastrophes, published by Kaplan Publishing.
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