All industry sectors showing marked improvement in their risk scores, according to Experian’s latest Business Benchmark Report

Costa Mesa , Calif. , June 22, 2010 — Experian®, the leading global information services company, today announced the results of its monthly Business Benchmark Report. Findings from the May report show that for the first time this year, all industry sectors have shown a marked improvement in their commercial risk scores month over month. This month’s report also shows significant improvements in outstanding debt, with the national average percentage of dollars delinquent showing a 4 percent improvement and the percentage of dollars severely (more than 91 days) delinquent seeing a 2 percent improvement since December 2009.

Other key findings from this month’s Business Benchmark Report include the following:

Risk score:

The trend toward continuing stability in the national average commercial risk score continued in May. The national average was 58.21,* a slight improvement over last month and a 0.9 percent increase over the past six months.

With the exception of very large businesses (those with 1,000 or more employees), risk scores have improved across the board since April. The greatest improvements were seen in businesses with 50 to 999 employees, showing an up to 3 percent improvement.

For the first time since the beginning of 2010, all industry sectors have shown marked improvement in their risk scores month over month. The greatest improvement was found in Public Administration (2.8 percent), followed closely by Transportation (1.9 percent) and Utilities (1.6 percent).

Of the states with the largest metropolitan areas, Pennsylvania (61.45), Massachusetts (61.18) and Illinois (58.9) were the only areas that exceeded the national average of 58.21. Georgia (55.27), New York (54.12) and Florida (53.26) ranked among those with the lowest average risk scores.

Average days beyond terms (DBT):

Although increasing slightly from April, payment performance from all industry groups continued to show signs of stabilization in May. Industries such as Health Services (5.01 DBT), Public Administration (5.19 DBT) and Utilities (5.20 DBT) are well below the national average and continue to be among those with the best payment performance.

When looking at business size, however, only midsize businesses (with 100 to 499 employees) remained stable, while all other business sizes saw an increase in the average DBT since last month.

In May, New England was the only geographic area to show signs of improvement in its average DBT. However, of the states with the largest metropolitan areas, New York (4.18) had the lowest average DBT, followed by Massachusetts (5.07), California (5.3), Pennsylvania (5.32) and Texas (5.79) — all well below the national average.

Percentage of dollars delinquent:

The national average percentage of dollars delinquent has shown a 4 percent improvement over the past six months, while percentage of dollars severely (more than 91 days) delinquent has seen a 2 percent improvement over the past six months.

Businesses of all sizes have remained stable in the average percentage of dollars delinquent and percentage of dollars severely delinquent in May. The one exception is large businesses with 250 to 999 employees, which saw a slight increase over April’s severe delinquency numbers.

In May, nearly all industry groups remained stable in the amount of dollars delinquent and severely delinquent, with the exception of the Real Estate, Insurance and Communications sectors, which showed significant improvements in the amount of dollars delinquent.

The Plains states saw an 8.3 percent improvement in the percentage of dollars delinquent in May, and the Northeast saw a 20 percent decline in the percentage of dollars considered severely (more than 91 days) delinquent. All other U.S. regions in this category remained stable.

California (9.16), Texas (10.34) and Massachusetts (11.0) were the only states with the largest metropolitan areas that fell below the national average percentage of dollars delinquent. In terms of percentage of dollars severely delinquent, Texas (3.81), Massachusetts (3.99), Pennsylvania (4.35) and California (4.55) fell below the national average.


May 2010

Six-month change

Risk score

Average DBT

Percent $ delinquent

Percent $ 91+

Risk score

Average DBT

Percent $ delinquent

Percent $ 91+

National average

58.21

6.37

11.5%

5.3%

-0.9%

4%

-4%

-2%

Number of employees

Nonemployer

60.15

5.61

7.6%

4.8%

-0.4%

4.3%

-8.1%

-2.4%

1 to 4

56.75

6.88

13.1%

7.9%

-1.9%

5.1%

-3.4%

-0.8%

5 to 9

54.56

8.14

13.9%

7.4%

-1.7%

4.0%

-3.2%

0.6%

10 to 19

53.90

8.34

13.8%

6.1%

-1.4%

3.6%

-3.7%

-1.1%

20 to 49

55.29

8.01

12.9%

4.6%

-1.0%

2.8%

-5.4%

-1.9%

50 to 99

56.09

7.52

14.0%

3.7%

-0.7%

2.2%

-4.4%

-1.7%

100 to 249

54.50

7.68

13.7%

2.8%

-0.6%

1.5%

-4.7%

-4.7%

250 to 499

53.26

8.16

14.9%

2.2%

-0.7%

1.1%

-3.3%

-2.5%

500 to 999

52.50

8.55

17.1%

2.5%

-1.3%

1.7%

-3.3%

-0.2%

1,000 and more

34.02

7.89

16.8%

2.4%

0.1%

7.0%

-3.3%

-1.9%


Risk score

Average DBT

Percent $ delinquent

Percent $ 91+

Risk score

Average DBT

Percent $ delinquent

Percent $ 91+

Industry group

Agriculture

63.04

5.63

8.21%

4.96%

-0.74%

3%

-6%

-3%

Forestry

65.81

3.82

8.33%

2.89%

-0.60%

4%

-3%

-6%

Mining

60.41

5.07

8.22%

0.82%

-1.16%

3%

-5%

-11%

Construction

55.40

10.46

21.12%

9.87%

-0.92%

3%

-4%

-1%

Manufacturing

55.78

8.91

14.48%

4.07%

-0.99%

3%

-3%

-3%

Transportation

52.89

8.29

14.51%

6.16%

-1.51%

4%

-1%

-3%

Communications

49.30

10.12

15.18%

8.39%

-3.30%

6%

-5%

-1%

Utilities

69.61

5.20

15.17%

2.64%

-0.40%

4%

-6%

-17%

Wholesale trade

55.99

7.97

11.73%

3.10%

-1.39%

4%

-4%

-5%

Retail trade

51.85

8.32

16.04%

6.24%

-2.03%

5%

-2%

1%

Finance

49.31

9.61

12.95%

8.22%

-3.63%

8%

-4%

-3%

Insurance

58.62

6.55

8.41%

6.09%

-2.44%

5%

2%

4%

Real estate

56.00

6.89

4.32%

3.11%

-1.80%

4%

-3%

-1%

Hospitality

52.02

7.17

5.44%

1.90%

-1.70%

3%

-10%

-8%

Business services

54.12

9.25

14.79%

8.43%

-2.20%

5%

-3%

-2%

Health services

60.60

5.01

10.73%

4.15%

-1.68%

5%

-2%

0%

Legal services

55.78

7.04

13.18%

9.46%

-2.48%

5%

-3%

-1%

Educational services

61.31

5.81

10.41%

5.49%

-1.36%

5%

-2%

1%

Public administration

61.17

5.19

12.96%

4.31%

-1.65%

4%

-6%

-4%




Risk score

Average DBT

Percent $ delinquent

Percent $ 91+

Risk score

Average DBT

Percent $ delinquent

Percent $ 91+

Region

Mid-Atlantic

60.39

5.46

12.3%

5.0%

-0.8%

4%

-2%

3%

Midwest

59.93

6.70

15.6%

7.2%

-0.7%

4%

-1%

-1%

Mountain

58.84

9.66

8.4%

4.3%

-0.6%

4%

-10%

-8%

New England

61.30

4.81

10.1%

4.0%

-0.3%

3%

-3%

2%

Northeast

55.14

4.66

13.5%

5.6%

-0.5%

3%

-1%

2%

Northwest

60.38

8.11

12.0%

5.1%

-1.0%

4%

-4%

-2%

Plains

61.81

6.05

11.3%

4.0%

-0.5%

5%

-4%

-1%

South Central

58.07

5.67

10.2%

3.7%

-0.8%

4%

-7%

-5%

Southeast

56.06

7.09

12.3%

6.0%

-1.3%

4%

-2%

0%

Southwest

56.87

6.39

9.2%

5.1%

-1.7%

6%

-7%

-3%


To download previous reports or to see a visual representation of this data and other information broken down by state in an interactive map, visit http://www.experian.com/business-benchmark-report .

About the Business Benchmark Report

Experian’s Business Benchmark Report is a monthly look at how businesses are faring in the United States. Designed to monitor the progress of business recovery, the report looks at four key indicators of business health, including commercial risk score, days beyond payment terms, percentage of dollars delinquent and percentage of dollars severely delinquent.

About Experian’s Business Information Services

Experian’s Business Information Services partners with organizations to establish and strengthen customer relationships, enabling them to mitigate risk and improve profitability. The company’s business database provides comprehensive, third-party-verified information on U.S. companies of all sizes, with the industry’s most extensive data on the broad spectrum of small and midsize businesses. By leveraging state-of-the-art technology and superior data compilation techniques, Experian is able to provide market-leading tools that assist clients in 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 http://www.experian.com/b2b or call 1 800 520 1221.

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

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company 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.

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

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 March 31, 2010, was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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

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