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The seasonally adjusted Credit Manager's Index for August increased only slightly to 48.1 from 48 in July following six months of solid gains, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Credit Management. The index, a gauge of economic factors affecting credit and collection professionals, was down 2.6 points from 50.7 in August 2008. Any score below 50 indicates economic deterioration. 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. "The credit system has not healed, and it may be some time before there is a sense that the biggest issues are behind the economy," Chris Kuehl, the association's economist, states in the report. "It is mildly encouraging to note that the index has not fallen, but an anemic 0.1 gain was much less than had been anticipated."

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