A Powerful Tool
Since its inception, the CMI has been a startlingly accurate economic predictor, proving its worth most notably during the recession.
In the case of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which NACM Economic Advisor and Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence Chris Kuehl, PhD frequently refers to in the CMI reports, it depicted an economy flirting with recession in the run-up to the downturn, but seemed to have trouble committing. The overall PMI reading tiptoed around 50, recording 50.4, 49.9 and 50.7 in September, October and November of 2007, respectively. It then dipped to 48.7 in December 2007, before hopping back up to 50.5 in January 2008, and eventually crashed to the 30s late in that year and in early 2009. During this period, the CMI mirrored the PMI on occasion, but altogether showed a remarkable sensitivity to the intricacies of the recession, resisting the month-to-month swings that seemed to characterize the PMI. For credit professionals looking for the expected economic trend of the next few months, they needed to look no further than the CMI.