U.S. Economic Health Tracker September 2014

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1 A D&B Monthly Briefing U.S. Economic Health Tracker September 2014 Presented by Paul Ballew, D&B Chief Data & Analytics Officer and Chief Economist Tuesday, September 2, :30 AM ET

2 Executive Summary During the month of August 2014, D&B s proprietary leading indicators The U.S. Small Business Health Index rose this month, but reflects only a partial recovery. Due to the lackluster pace of growth in the small business sector D&B has downgraded its outlook for 2015 U.S. Jobs Growth is expected to project a relatively robust labor market and create close to 250,000 jobs this month U.S. Business Health Index in August reflects a slower pace of improvement in the financial health of U.S. businesses. Private sector financial health remains a bright spot in the U.S. economy Let s take a closer look. 2

3 D&B s Small Business Health Index The Small Business Health Index has increased 0.5 points this month, now showing a reading of 91.0 There remains a growing imbalance in the performance by vertical and geography The Business Services sector shows an increase of almost 2 points while the Housing and Transportation sectors show declines from previous month The Delinquency subcomponents show significant improvement on a year-over-year basis, and Card Utilization subcomponent shows a setback 3

4 Performance in all major verticals remains tepid. Although small business performance by verticals varies slightly from month to month, there is no change in the hesitant trend the index has shown since earlier this year Small Business Health Index by Verticals: 6 month Moving Averages Source: D&B Proprietary Data Manufacturing Retail Business Services Construction 4

5 ... and a slack in business activity is apparent We see the same hesitant pattern and slowdown in several aspects of business activity Business Activity has shown intermittent growth spurts since the beginning of the recovery but is currently flattening out 40% Small Business Spend in the Past 6 months: YOY Changes 8% 10,500 Small Business Activity: Buyers in the Past 6 Months 30% 7% 10,000 20% 6% 9,500 10% 0% 5% 4% 3% 9,000 8,500 8,000-10% 2% 7,500-20% 1% 7,000-30% 0% 6,500 6,000 Small Business Spend in the Past 6 Months: YOY Changes (Left) Retail Sales excluding Food Services: YOY Changes (Left) Number of Buyers in the Past 6 Months (thousands) Source: Census Bureau / D&B Proprietary Data 5

6 unfortunately a pattern which has been consistent throughout the current economic cycle Based on the experience of prior recoveries the US economy remains far below expectations, at least in terms of GDP growth 130 February 1961 = 100 November 1970 = 100 March 1975 = 100 November 1982 = 100 March 1991 = 100 November 2001 = 100 June 2009 = 100 June 2009 = 100 {Theoretical GDP growth} Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis Note: X-Axis represents number of quarters past the date each trough was declared 6

7 Lagging growth with an improving labor market? The apparent contradiction is due to uneven recovery across industries Since 2001, a 2.0% annualized change in GDP would equate to under 100 thousand payrolls added a month but during this recovery payroll gains have more closely resembled annual GDP growth of over 2.5% 8% YTD monthly pace: +230,000 6% 4% Average monthly net payroll gains 2% 0% % Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics\Bureau of Economic Analysis -4% -6% -8% Change in real GDP at Annualized rate 7

8 Given these facts D&B has downgraded the outlook for with the notable exception of job growth Given our proprietary measures and what we are witnessing from government data, D&B is downgrading the 2015 real GDP forecast to 2.9% annual growth. We still project robust labor growth of on average 250,000+ a month. As such we are anticipating labor shortages in selected geographies and verticals. Out of the top 372 metro areas in the US 74 have unemployment rates under 5% of those 2 are under 3% coming from the oil rich areas of North Dakota and Texas. Unemployment is even more varied while looking at educational attainment: Education attained Unemployment rate in 2013 (Percent) Doctoral degree 2.2 Professional degree 2.3 Master's degree 3.4 Bachelor's degree 4 Associate's degree 5.4 Some college, no degree 7 High school diploma 7.5 Less than a high school diploma 11 Source: Current Population Survey, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 8

9 U.S. Jobs Health Based on our proprietary indicators, D&B expects the U.S. economy to add close to 250,000 jobs in August The Business Services Sector is expected to continue seeing major gains while Real Estate may see some losses 9

10 U.S. Business Health Index The overall US Business Health Index was unchanged in August from the previous month, recording 53.5%--remaining 0.6 parentage points below its all-time high reached in May Most sectors either recorded a slight decline or no change on a month-to-month basis. However, strength was recorded out of the Midwest as businesses out of the Great Lakes area recorded improvement. 10

11 U.S. Business Health Index On a 12-month basis the overall index continued to rise (+5.0%), August s pace accelerated from July maintaining a healthy pace of improvement. Delinquency scores and the Total Loss Predictor accelerated on a year-over-year basis in August. All three subcomponents continued to record positive year-over-year results for the eighth consecutive month. Source: D&B Proprietary Data 11

12 Besides Balance sheets, Small Business Payment Activity is also showing positive signs.. Delinquency and Charge-off Rates on Small Business Loans have continued to decline since the recession 7.0% 6.0% 5.0% 4.0% Cycle 3+ Delinquency Rate: Small Business Loans 2.5% Charge-off Rate: Small Business Loans 2.0% 1.5% 3.0% 1.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% 0.5% 0.0% Cycle 3+ Delinquency Rate Charge-off Rate Source: D&B Proprietary Data 12

13 .and other measures confirm this improvement The number of business bankruptcies have been steadily declining 60,000 Business Bankruptcies 25.0% Business Bankruptcies: Rate of Decline 50, % 40, % 30, % 20, % 10, % Source: D&B Proprietary Data 13

14 Given the financial health of the private sector hope remains that investment spending will accelerate in 2015 & beyond Lending Activity for small businesses seems to be keeping up with the rest of the economy and has picked up pace in earlier this year $1,800 Balance on All Open Small Business Accounts $1,700 $1,600 $1,500 $1,400 $1,300 $1,200 $1,100 $1,000 $900 $800 $45,000 $40,000 $35,000 $30,000 $25,000 $20,000 $15,000 40% Balance on All Open Accounts: YOY Changes 30% 20% 10% 0% -10% -20% -30% C&I Loans: All Commercial Banks ($B, Left) Total Balance on All Open Small Business Accounts (Right) Source: D&B Proprietary Data Total Balance on All Open Accounts: YOY Changes C&I Loans, All Commercial Banks: YOY Changes 14

15 Summary & Outlook Mixed signals continued in the U.S. economy in August. D&B s leading indicators continued to display accelerating pace in specific areas and deceleration in others. Currently, the labor market remains fractured, as specific geographies and demographics by educational attainment have historically low unemployment rates Growth in economic activity still remains below par while the labor market continues to over perform which could create structural issues down the line. Given the current state of the economy D&B is downgrading its 2015 outlook for real GDP growth to 2.9%.. 15

16 Appendix 16

17 Four quarter moving average of component contribution to real GDP 4.0% Real Gross Domestic Product (SAAR, %Chg) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} Real PCE: Contribution to Real GDP Change (SAAR, %) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% -5.0% 17

18 Four quarter moving average of component contribution to real GDP 4.0% Real Gross Domestic Product (SAAR, %Chg) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} Real Gross Pvt Dom Investmnt: Contribution to Real GDP Chg (SAAR, %) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% -5.0% 18

19 Four quarter moving average of component contribution to real GDP 4.0% Real Gross Domestic Product (SAAR, %Chg) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} Real Nonresidential Fixed Investmnt: Contrib to Real GDP Change (SAAR,%) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% -5.0% 19

20 Four quarter moving average of component contribution to real GDP 4.0% Real Gross Domestic Product (SAAR, %Chg) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} Real Residential Investment: Contribution to Real GDP Change (SAAR, %) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% -5.0% 20

21 Four quarter moving average of component contribution to real GDP 4.0% Real Gross Domestic Product (SAAR, %Chg) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} Net Exports of Goods & Services:Contribution to Real GDP Change (SAAR,%) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% -5.0% 21

22 Four quarter moving average of component contribution to real GDP 4.0% Real Gross Domestic Product (SAAR, %Chg) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} Real Govt Consumptn/Investment:Contribution to Real GDP Change (SAAR, %) {4 Q Mov. Avg.} 3.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% -5.0% 22

23 D&B will continue to keep an eye on the health of the U.S. and Global Economy to bring you our monthly views and perspectives. To view the U.S. Economic Health Tracker and related resources, visit Follow us on Twitter for D&B s up-to-the-minute information and analysis 23

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