U.S. Businesses Paying Bills More Slowly, According to Experian's Latest Business Benchmark Report

Aug 31, 2010, 08:00 ET from Experian

COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Experian®, the leading global information services company, today announced the results of its monthly Business Benchmark Report. Findings from the July report show that the national average number of days that businesses paid their bills beyond contracted terms increased by 2 percent in July compared with June. When compared with six months ago, the average payment beyond contracted terms has increased by 3.3 percent. The July report also showed that the national average dollars delinquent and dollars severely delinquent (91 or more days) are up (6 percent and 13 percent, respectively) when compared with six months ago.

Other findings from this month's Business Benchmark Report include the following:

Risk score:

  • The average commercial risk score* for July was 58.3, up 0.5 percent over June's average score of 58.0. The score is essentially unchanged when compared with six months ago.
  • In July, very large businesses (those with more than 1,000 employees) showed an almost 6 percent drop in their risk scores compared with June, going from 41.6 to 39.3. However, these businesses continue to demonstrate the greatest overall improvement in risk scores when compared with six months ago, when the average score was 38.2.
  • In July, public administration showed the biggest improvement in risk scores over the past six months, improving by 1.6 percent. Conversely, the financial sector showed the greatest decline in risk scores over the same six-month period, decreasing by 1.5 percent.
  • Pennsylvania (61.4), Massachusetts (61.2) and Illinois (58.9) were the only states with the largest metropolitan areas that had risk scores better than the national average in July.

Average days beyond terms (DBT):

  • Very large businesses and nonemployer businesses have shown the greatest increase in DBT, increasing by 5.6 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively, when compared with six months ago. Conversely, midsize businesses (with 50 to 499 employees) showed the biggest improvement, reducing DBT by as much as 6.1 percent over the same period.
  • The largest increase seen in DBT month over month was in the nonemployer category, which increased by 2 percent to 5.7 days. Conversely, the biggest improvement in average DBT was seen in the large business category (those with 500 to 999 employees), where DBT improved by 1.6 percent to 8.6 days.
  • All industry groups have shown an increase in DBT in July compared with June. Manufacturing and Utilities had the biggest increases, rising by 2.5 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.
  • New York (4.2 DBT), Massachusetts (5.1 DBT), Pennsylvania (5.3 DBT), California (5.4 DBT) and Texas (5.8 DBT) were the only states with the largest metropolitan areas that stayed well below the national average DBT in July.

Percentage of dollars delinquent:

  • Nonemployer firms showed significant increases (16.4 percent) in the percentage of dollars delinquent when compared with six months ago. In terms of severely delinquent dollars, nonemployer firms and microbusinesses (those with one to four employees) also demonstrated significant increases, rising by 27.5 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively.
  • Larger businesses (those with 500 to more than 1,000 employees) and midsize businesses with 100 to 249 employees showed significant improvements in percentage of dollars delinquent when compared with six months ago, decreasing by as much as 11.1 percent. Midsize businesses with 50 to 99 employees and larger businesses with 500 to 999 employees showed significant improvements in percentage of dollars significantly delinquent, decreasing by 11.8 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.
  • When compared with six months ago, Communications and Retail and Trade sectors saw significant increases (9 percent and 17 percent, respectively) in percentage of dollars delinquent. Communications, Real Estate and Hospitality sectors saw some of the largest increases in percentage of dollars severely delinquent, increasing by 22 percent, 26 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Conversely, the Retail and Hospitality sectors both saw improvements in percentage of dollars delinquent, improving by 12 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
  • Almost all U.S. regions showed increases in percentage of dollars delinquent and percentage of dollars severely delinquent compared with six months ago. The South Central region showed the largest increase in percentage of dollars delinquent (up 14 percent), and the Mid-Atlantic region demonstrated the largest increase in severe delinquency (up 19 percent).
  • California (9.4 percent), Texas (10.8 percent) and Massachusetts (12.3 percent) were the only states with the largest metropolitan areas that had an average percentage of dollars delinquent falling below the national average of 12.7 percent in July. In terms of percentage of dollars severely delinquent, Texas (3.9 percent), Massachusetts (4.1 percent), California (4.4 percent) and Pennsylvania (4.4 percent) were the areas that fell below the national average of 5.8 percent during the same period.

Business Benchmark Report:

July 2010





Six-month change



Risk
score

Average
DBT

Percent $
delinquent

Percent
$ 91+


Risk
score

Average
DBT

Percent $
delinquent

Percent $
91+

National average

58.30

6.45

12.7%

5.8%


0.2%

3%

6%

13%











Number of employees









Nonemployer

60.29

5.67

9.0%

5.9%


0.3%

4.0%

16.4%

27.5%

One to four

56.70

6.98

14.4%

8.6%


1.3%

-0.8%

-0.1%

7.0%

Five to nine

54.43

8.31

14.6%

7.8%


0.6%

0.5%

-1.6%

3.5%

10 to 19

53.84

8.42

14.2%

6.3%


0.4%

0.7%

-4.4%

3.0%

20 to 49

55.41

7.95

13.7%

4.5%


0.9%

-2.7%

-2.6%

-4.5%

50 to 99

56.34

7.48

14.4%

3.4%


1.6%

-4.4%

-5.4%

-11.8%

100 to 249

54.72

7.66

14.3%

2.9%


1.9%

-6.1%

-11.1%

0.6%

250 to 499

53.06

8.23

14.9%

2.1%


1.6%

-5.7%

-1.6%

-3.7%

500 to 999

51.55

8.63

15.8%

1.7%


-0.2%

-2.6%

-8.3%

-9.4%

1,000 and more

39.15

8.12

17.0%

2.1%


2.7%

5.6%

-10.7%

-1.0%





Risk
score

Average
DBT

Percent $
delinquent

Percent $
91+


Risk
score

Average
DBT

Percent $
delinquent

Percent $
91+

Industry group










Agriculture

63.31

5.53

8.21%

5.21%


0.62%

-2%

-29%

-22%

Forestry

65.50

4.07

19.10%

9.38%


1.30%

5%

132%

195%

Mining

60.27

5.25

9.42%

1.07%


0.04%

4%

47%

-8%

Construction

55.36

10.51

21.89%

9.76%


0.67%

1%

-1%

1%

Manufacturing

55.55

9.24

15.18%

4.16%


-0.38%

4%

-3%

-4%

Transportation

53.09

8.29

14.80%

6.20%


0.75%

2%

2%

1%

Communications

49.83

10.28

19.95%

10.17%


0.74%

1%

9%

22%

Utilities

68.93

5.21

16.02%

2.72%


0.82%

0%

2%

-7%

Wholesale trade

55.99

8.05

12.15%

3.29%


-0.29%

2%

-7%

-4%

Retail trade

51.86

8.34

15.92%

5.96%


0.18%

0%

-12%

4%

Finance

49.13

9.90

13.47%

8.50%


-1.50%

10%

-2%

3%

Insurance

58.57

6.70

8.81%

6.21%


-0.67%

7%

3%

4%

Real estate

56.15

6.95

5.50%

3.76%


0.74%

3%

17%

26%

Hospitality

51.94

7.31

5.68%

2.49%


0.09%

1%

-9%

26%

Business services

54.22

9.19

15.30%

8.31%


0.19%

2%

-1%

1%

Health services

60.63

5.02

10.80%

4.01%


0.02%

2%

-2%

1%

Legal services

55.77

7.10

13.61%

9.16%


-0.92%

4%

-2%

-4%

Educational services

61.42

5.95

10.57%

5.53%


0.75%

7%

-1%

5%

Public administration

61.72

5.27

15.25%

4.87%


1.62%

0%

3%

-2%






Risk
score

Average
DBT

Percent $
delinquent

Percent
$ 91+


Risk
score

Average
DBT

Percent $
delinquent

Percent $
91+

Region










Mid-Atlantic

60.42

5.48

13.9%

5.4%


0.2%

2%

9%

19%

Midwest

59.88

6.78

17.9%

8.1%


0.0%

3%

6%

16%

Mountain

58.28

9.72

8.7%

4.8%


-0.3%

2%

5%

9%

New England

61.39

4.84

11.5%

4.5%


0.3%

1%

7%

14%

Northeast

55.35

4.71

14.2%

6.0%


0.1%

2%

-2%

10%

Northwest

60.53

8.14

13.3%

5.9%


0.8%

2%

8%

15%

Plains

61.75

6.11

13.5%

5.1%


-0.6%

3%

4%

17%

South Central

58.32

5.70

11.4%

4.0%


0.5%

3%

14%

7%

Southeast

56.24

7.23

14.6%

7.1%


-0.1%

5%

10%

14%

Southwest

57.01

6.53

9.5%

5.1%


0.8%

4%

-4%

-2%




To download previous reports or to see a visual representation of this data and other information broken down by state in an interactive map, visit http://www.experian.com/business-benchmark-report.

About the Business Benchmark Report

Experian's Business Benchmark Report is a monthly look at how businesses are faring in the United States. Designed to monitor the progress of business recovery, the report looks at four key indicators of business health, including commercial risk score, days beyond payment terms, percentage of dollars delinquent and percentage of dollars severely delinquent.

About Experian's Business Information Services

Experian's Business Information Services partners with organizations to establish and strengthen customer relationships, enabling them to mitigate risk and improve profitability. The company's business database provides comprehensive, third-party-verified information on U.S. companies of all sizes, with the industry's most extensive data on the broad spectrum of small and midsize businesses. By leveraging state-of-the-art technology and superior data compilation techniques, Experian is able to provide market-leading tools, such as BusinessIQSM, that assist clients in processing new applications, managing customer relationships and collecting on delinquent accounts. For more information about Experian's advanced business-to-business products and services, visit http://www.experian.com/b2b.

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2010, was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

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