An analysis of accounts receivable activity among manufacturers, distributors/wholesalers, retailers, service companies and transportation providers for November indicates a much faster cash cycle than is normal for this time of year, says Cortera, a business information firm that publishes a monthly A/R report. The Cotera Supply Chain Index measures payment activities of approximately 350,000 businesses.
Faster payments and related cash flow throughout the overall supply chain typically occurs in the months following a holiday shopping season. That it is happening now supports reports of retailers and suppliers reducing inventories this holiday season with little expectation of replenishing goods once those inventories are exhausted, Cortera says.
The latest data represents the fifth time in the last six months that the Cortera SCI has revealed improving cash flow conditions throughout the supply chain, though the SCI remains 20 percent higher than pre-recession levels of two years ago.
"The speeding of payments is a positive although highly unusual development for this time of year. The latest data suggests a unique balance between the fresh lessons from the past holiday season and cautious optimism to meet conservative sales expectations," said Jim Swift, president and CEO, Cortera.
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