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Dun & Bradstreet U.S. Economic Health Tracker

A monthly report on business-related economic trends

January 2018 Report

Dun & Bradstreet's U.S. Economic Health Tracker is a monthly, multi-dimensional review of the health of the economy. Read and download the latest report for key insight on small business, jobs, and overall business performance. Come back regularly for new updates, published the Tuesday prior to the first Friday of each month.

Perspectives

The tone of this month’s Tracker remains subdued for small businesses as the SBHI didn’t show much change. Although survey data suggests increased optimism among small businesses due to de-regulation and tax reform implemented in the past year, small businesses have not kept up pace with their payment performances. Although trade credit delinquencies have dropped significantly on a Y/Y basis, and card delinquencies on a M/M basis, sluggishness in the other component indices show an inherent lack of stability among small businesses. Alternatively, overall improvement in economic conditions have filtered through to our risk indicators, with the OBHI continuing to point toward historically low levels of financial risk.

Overall, this month’s Tracker does point to weaknesses in the small business segment of the economy but at the same time gives reasons for optimism regarding balance sheet health of US businesses. It remains to be seen if this trend will drive higher small business performance as we progress through 2018.

Methodology

The Small Business Health Index measures year-over-year small business performance through payment patterns and credit use. U.S. Jobs Health combines Small Business Health Index industry data with BLS figures to forecast monthly nonfarm payroll employment. The U.S. Overall Business Health Index provides a weighted average of Dun & Bradstreet’s Viability Score, Delinquency Predictor and Total Loss Predictor. The index ranges from zero (with all businesses recording high levels of risk) to 100% (with all businesses recording low levels of risk). Report based on data available as of January 26, 2018.

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