Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index shows small-business credit conditions deteriorate as delinquency rises

 Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit Index shows small-business
credit conditions deteriorate as delinquency rises and personal income growth
                                    slows

PR Newswire

COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 20, 2013

COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Experian®, the leading
global information services company, today announced that the Experian/Moody's
Analytics Small Business Credit Index tumbled in Q4 2012, falling 6.8 points
to 97.3 from 104.1 in the previous quarter. This is the second consecutive
quarterly decline and is the index's lowest reading since Q3 2011. Findings
from the report also show that small-business credit quality deteriorated
considerably in the quarter, due to a rise in delinquent debt and a slowdown
in personal income growth pulling retail sales lower and hurting
small-business revenues.

"Small-business credit quality weakened at the end of last year, as the
Midwest drought, Superstorm Sandy and cuts in government spending weighed on
the economy," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "Small
businesses continue to struggle to meet their financial obligations. However,
it is encouraging that credit appears to be growing again for the first time
since the recession. More freely flowing credit to small businesses should
support more investment and hiring and reinforce the broader economic
recovery."

Highlights from the report also show small firms were struggling to pay down
delinquent debt. Balances less than 60 days past due rose nearly 20 percent in
the quarter, overshadowing a slight decline in those considered severely
delinquent (more than 90 days past due). Additionally, nearly all of the
increase seen in delinquent debt is a result of firms falling behind on
payments on which they were previously current.

"Paying down existing delinquent debt and ensuring future bills are paid on
time are critical components to a business's success," said Allen Anderson,
president of Experian's Business Information Services. "High levels of
delinquency can negatively impact a business's credit, making it difficult to
obtain favorable loan and other business terms, which are critical to a
business' success."

To receive a copy of the full Experian/Moody's Analytics Small Business Credit
Index report, please visit 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
economy.

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
www.experian.com/b2b

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,
Brazil.

For more information, visit 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.

Contact:
Roslyn Whitehurst
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5578
roslyn.whitehurst@experian.com
Twitter: @RozWhitehurst

SOURCE Experian

Website: http://www.experian.com
 
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