Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index shows small businesses faced significant challenges in Q3 that will

Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index shows small businesses
  faced significant challenges in Q3 that will continue through most of 2013

PR Newswire

COSTA MESA, Calif., Nov. 20, 2012

COSTA MESA, Calif., Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Experian^®, the leading
global information services company, today announced that an increase in
severely delinquent account balances and slower consumer spending growth posed
a significant challenge to small businesses that will likely continue
throughout the rest of 2012 and most of 2013.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121120/LA16550-INFO)

"Small businesses remain under financial pressure, as the broader economy
continues to grow slowly and concerns about the nation's daunting fiscal
challenges mount," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.
"Businesses are reluctant to take on new credit, and severely delinquent
credit remains uncomfortably high. It is encouraging, however, that
early-stage delinquency is declining and that credit scores are holding up.
Credit conditions should improve if the president and Congress are able to
reasonably address our fiscal problems."

According to the latest Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit
Index, the credit quality measured by the Small Business Credit Index began
deteriorating in Q3 after four consecutive quarters of improvement. Findings
from the report showed that while 30- and 60-day past-due balances have
improved, those that are considered severely delinquent (more than 90 days
past due) have not improved after climbing 11.4 percent during the first three
quarters of last year.

"Having a high level of severe delinquency is as troubling for a small
business as it is for a consumer," said Allen Anderson, president of
Experian's Business Information Services. "Making timely payments and reducing
delinquent debt are critical to improving a business's credit profile, making
it possible for the business to achieve positive growth. When continually
faced with a large amount of debt, businesses can be forced to make the same
tough decisions that consumers do, except these decisions can impact others in
terms of employment or salary adjustments."

Additional findings from the Q3 report show that the presidential election
results will likely ensure the survival of the Affordable Care Act, which may
pose another challenge for some small businesses. The report shows that while
the Affordable Care Act will have little impact on some companies, those
businesses with 50 to 100 employees could face fines of up to $2,000 per
worker if they fail to comply with the law.

When looking at measures of business health, the Q3 report found that the
average commercial risk score (57.1) remained stable across geographic regions
despite the disproportionate regional effects associated with the slowing
global economy. Additionally, the report found that U.S. businesses paid their
bills an average of 7.4 days beyond contracted terms in September 2012, the
same as during the second quarter. However, when compared year over year,
average days beyond terms has increased by 2.5 percent.

To receive a copy of the full Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit
Index report, please visit http://www.experian.com/SmallBusinessCreditIndex.

About the Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index

Experian joined forces with Moody's Analytics, a leading independent provider
of economic forecasting, to create a business index and detailed report that
provides insight into the health of U.S. businesses. The Experian/Moody's
Analytics Small Business Credit Index is reported quarterly to show
fluctuations in the market and discuss factors that are impacting the business

About Experian's Business Information Services

Experian's Business Information Services is a leader in providing data and
predictive insights to organizations, helping them mitigate risk and improve
profitability. The company's business database provides comprehensive,
third-party-verified information on 99.9 percent of all U.S. companies.
Experian provides market-leading tools that assist clients of all sizes in
making real-time decisions, processing new applications, managing customer
relationships and collecting on delinquent accounts. For more information
about Experian's advanced business-to-business products and services, visit

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data
and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses
to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate
decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report
and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a
constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March
2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44
countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with
operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo,

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered
trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company
names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Roslyn Whitehurst
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5578
Twitter: @RozWhitehurst

SOURCE Experian

Website: http://www.experian.com
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