Experian, a global information services company, Tuesday 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% in July compared with June.

When compared with six months ago, the average payment beyond contracted terms has increased by 3.3%. The July report also showed that the national average dollars delinquent and dollars severely delinquent (91 or more days) are up (6% and 13%, respectively) when compared with six months ago.
 
Other findings include the following:
 
Risk score:

· The average commercial risk score for July was 58.3, up 0.5% 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% 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%. Conversely, the financial sector showed the greatest decline in risk scores over the same six-month period, decreasing by 1.5%.

· 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% and 4.0%, 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% over the same period.

· The largest increase seen in DBT month over month was in the nonemployer category, which increased by 2% 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% 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% and 2.4%, 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:

· Non-employer firms showed significant increases (16.4%) 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% and 7.0%, 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%. 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% and 9.4%, respectively.

· When compared with six months ago, Communications and Retail and Trade sectors saw significant increases (9% and 17%, 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%, 26% and 26%, respectively. Conversely, the Retail and Hospitality sectors both saw improvements in percentage of dollars delinquent, improving by 12% and 9%, 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%), and the Mid-Atlantic region demonstrated the largest increase in severe delinquency (up 19%).

· California (9.4%), Texas (10.8%) and Massachusetts (12.3%) 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% in July. In terms of percentage of dollars severely delinquent, Texas (3.9%), Massachusetts (4.1%), California (4.4%) and Pennsylvania (4.4%) were the areas that fell below the national average of 5.8% during the same period.

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