Business credit quality weakened in August says WAIN Street Business Default Index

Business Default Index deteriorates to 7.20%
Smallest businesses continue to show stand-out credit performance

WAIN Street reported Friday that the Business Default Index deteriorated by 0.23% in August to close at 7.20%.  The deterioration was widespread with over 15% more businesses worsening in their credit performance than improving. The index is quoted as a seasonally adjusted, annualized default rate.  An increase in the index corresponds to deterioration in business credit quality.

 201409.agg.monthlyMonthly Business Default Index levels.

The 3-month moving average default rate was virtually unchanged at 7.1% and provides a steadying context to August’s widespread deterioration.

201409.agg.monthly.changeMonthly change in Business Default Index (upper panel) and monthly Diffusion margin (lower panel).  Simultaneous decrease (improvement) in default rate and increase (deterioration) in diffusion value indicates improvement in firm-level credit performance and decline in loss severity.

“August disappointed on many counts”, said Vidur Dhanda, Publisher, WAIN Street.  “Employment growth was disappointing; existing home sales dipped; factory orders fell more than expected and all this was reflected in the index deterioration as well as a weaker-than-expected reading of Leading Economic Index”.

Solo and E20 sub-indices that track businesses with no paid employees and businesses with fewer than 20 employees, respectively, were virtually unchanged on a 3-month moving average basis.

“The continued firm-level improvement in credit performance by the smallest businesses should be attractive to lenders looking to grow their portfolios”, Dhanda noted.

The complete September 2014 report with business size-based sub-indices and detailed industry sector and geography breakouts is available here.

The WAIN Street Business Default Index is computed monthly based on the credit performance of nearly 18 million US businesses that have been tracked by WAIN Street for over 12 months.  WAIN Street’s research publications help credit market participants better serve mid-market and small businesses.