The seasonally adjusted Credit Manager's Index for September increased to 49.8 from 48.1 in August and from 48 in July, according to a report released today by the National Association of Credit Management. The index, a gauge of economic factors affecting credit and collection professionals, was up 2.4 points from 47.4 in September 2008. Any score below 50 indicates economic deterioration. "In order for the [index] to move into expansion territory – above 50 – it will take the coalescing of three trends in credit: more credit availability, more sales that require the acquisition of credit and more prompt and regular payments on credit granted," Chris Kuehl, the association's economist, states in the report. The index consists of four favorable factors, such as sales and the amount of credit extended, and six unfavorable factors, such as accounts placed for collection and bankruptcy filings. "There has been some movement in sales and some positive movement in terms of credit availability, but up to this point there hadn't really been positive news regarding payment on that debt. Now all three factors seem to be moving in a generally positive direction," Kuehl states.

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