In a bit of good news, more businesses are paying their bills more quickly, and fewer businesses are delinquent. That’s according to the March Business Benchmark Report from Experian.
Since the January report:
– The average commercial risk score is up slightly, from 57.14 to 58.60.
– The percent of dollars delinquent has improved, albeit slightly, from 12.5 to 11.8 percent.
– Similarly, the percent of dollars that are delinquent by more than 91 days has dropped a bit, from 5.3 to 5.2 percent.
To be sure, not all the news was positive. One area that slipped over the past few months was the average days beyond terms (DBT), which grew from 5.77 to 6.28. The change was fairly evenly divided across firms of all sizes and in all regions of the country, as well as across industries. Even so, the longer-term trend is heading in the right direction, with DBT improving by 1 percent over the past six months.
That may seem like slight consolation when the stock market is gyrating and the unemployment rate rising, even as nearly 300,000 people were added to the payrolls in the last month. However, the numbers hint at a business environment that’s slowly stabilizing. After several years of economic upheaval, that’s good news.