8-27-13 8:30 AM EDT | Email Article

COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Experian®, the leading global information services company, today announced that small-business credit conditions strengthened in the second quarter of this year, lifting the Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index to 111.7 — the highest level since it began tracking in 2010. According to the latest report, consumer confidence is high and small-business credit quality has shown improvements throughout the quarter due to personal income growth, retail sales increases and steady employment gains.

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"The economy has held up better than anticipated so far this year in the face of large tax increases and government spending cuts, which has supported improved small-business borrowing and credit quality," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "While there remain several hurdles to even better conditions, including the coming political battles over the Treasury debt ceiling and federal government funding and the prospects for higher interest rates, small businesses should get over these hurdles reasonably well."

Findings from the report showed that small firms have steadily reduced their delinquent debt over the past year. Balance volumes for all business sizes receded measurably from a year earlier, bringing down delinquency rates. Further, credit quality has strengthened for every business size. At an average of 10.2 percent, the total share of delinquent dollars is 2.4 percentage points lower than it was a year ago and is at the lowest point on record.

"During this period of modest growth, small businesses have improved their credit profile by decreasing delinquent debt and meeting financial obligations in a more timely fashion," said Joel Pruis, Experian's senior business consultant. "Businesses of all sizes need to maintain a strong credit profile, as it enables them to more easily secure the credit or funding they need to grow their enterprise."

Regionally, the report showed that delinquency rates were significantly lower than the national average for small companies in Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona and Utah. Additionally, large Western cities, including Phoenix, Ariz.; Houston, Texas; San Francisco, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; San Diego, Calif.; and Salt Lake City, Utah, were all in the top 10th percentile among metro areas for small-business credit quality.

To receive a copy of the full Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index report, visit www.experian.com/SmallBusinessCreditIndex.

About the Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index
Experian joined forces with Moody's Analytics, a leading independent provider of economic forecasting, to create a business index and detailed report that provides insight into the health of U.S. businesses. The Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index is reported quarterly to show fluctuations in the market and discuss factors that are impacting the business economy.

About Experian's Business Information Services
Experian's Business Information Services is a leader in providing data and predictive insights to organizations, helping them mitigate risk and improve profitability. The company's business database provides comprehensive, third-party-verified information on 99.9 percent of all U.S. companies. Experian provides market-leading tools that assist clients of all sizes in making real-time decisions, 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 www.experian.com/b2b.

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group 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, 2013, was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contact:
Roslyn Whitehurst
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5578
roslyn.whitehurst@experian.com
Twitter:
@RozWhitehurst

SOURCE Experian

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