Another Sign Of Better Times: Fewer Deadbeats

In line with the quickening economy, the bill-paying performance of U.S. business showed solid improvement in the fourth quarter, reports Dun & Bradstreet Corp. Its latest survey indicates that more large companies (those with 500 or more employees) accelerated payments than slowed them for the fourth straight quarter. Indeed, both large and midsize firms turned in their best bill-paying results since the start of 1990.

Although companies with fewer than 20 employees are still struggling, D&B anticipates that big companies' speedup in payments to suppliers should have a beneficial trickle-down effect on smaller ones in coming months.

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