For the sixth straight month, the Credit Managers' Index (CMI) indicates growth in the availability of capital. The recovery in the index started in February, supporting the notion that the economy was starting to show some rebound. The July index reading was at 48, up from June's number of 46.4. Once the index reaches 50, it will signal expansion.
Improvements in some of the manufacturing indicators are tempered by concerns about continued high unemployment. One of the more surprising developments was the solid performance in the manufacturing sector, with an even higher index than that for the combined total—48.3 compared to 48. The improvements were even more pronounced when manufacturing was isolated. Sales posted a big gain and so did new credit applications with numbers jumping from 51.1 to 55.3. Extended credit also showed improvement.