Experian and Moody’s Analytics Team Up to Launch the Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index

Experian and Moody’s Analytics team up to launch the Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index
First report shows small-business credit conditions improve as economy slowly recovers

Costa Mesa, Calif., May 17, 2012 — Experian®, the leading global information services company, today announced that it has joined forces with Moody’s Analytics to create a business index and detailed report that provides insight into the health of U.S. businesses. The new Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index will be reported quarterly to show fluctuations in the market and discuss factors that are impacting the business economy.

“Experian’s data, analytics and tools provide organizations with the services they need to be successful and enable them to make more profitable financial decisions,” said Allen Anderson, president of Experian’s Business Information Services. “Over the past two years, we have published a Business Benchmark Report that provided insight into the credit health of U.S. businesses. Now, working with Moody’s Analytics we are able to take the next step in researching and reporting the impact of current economic trends on the business community, to provide another layer of valuable insight into what is affecting the business marketplace.”

The Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index tracks how businesses are faring over a period of time compared with a base point, with the first quarter of 2011 being equal to 100. The key factors that comprise the index are commercial credit data (including growth of credit balances and delinquency rates measured on a dollar basis) combined with a variety of macroeconomic data (including growth rates for employment, income, retail sales, investment, output and industrial production).

The Q1 2012 report shows that although access to credit remains tight, U.S. commercial credit conditions are improving, with fewer small businesses falling behind on bill payments.

The Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index improved in Q1 2012 to 103.2, up from 101.9 in Q4 2011. This is the index’s second consecutive quarterly improvement after it fell during much of last year. The index is riding on a wave of increased consumer spending, which is boosting small businesses’ balance sheets.

“The Q1 analysis has shown that small businesses are finally getting some relief from the credit crunch that has plagued many of them since the Great Recession,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The recent improvement in small-business credit growth and quality bodes well for the broader economy and job market.”

Other trends seen in the Q1 Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index report include:
• The overall health of U.S. small businesses has improved, thanks to rising consumer confidence and spending, but balance sheets are strengthening unevenly.
• Most metrics of small-business credit quality were essentially unchanged from last quarter, but the average commercial risk score improved on a year-ago basis due to a drop in the percentage of dollars delinquent.
• Not surprisingly, states where the labor market is healing more vigorously typically are home to small businesses with stronger credit standings. Similarly, small firms in states with high unemployment and lackluster housing markets are struggling.

To receive a copy of the full Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index report, please visit http://www.experian.com/business-information/me-smallbusinesscreditindex.html.

Roslyn Whitehurst
Experian Public Relations
1 714 830 5578

About Moody’s Analytics
Moody’s Analytics helps capital markets and risk management professionals worldwide respond to an evolving marketplace with confidence. The company offers unique tools and best practices for measuring and managing risk through expertise and experience in credit analysis, economic research and financial risk management. By providing leading-edge software, advisory services and research, including the proprietary analysis of Moody’s Investors Service, Moody’s Analytics integrates and customizes its offerings to address specific business challenges. Moody’s Analytics is a subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO), which reported revenue of $2.3 billion in 2011, employs approximately 6,100 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 28 countries. Further information is available at http://www.moodysanalytics.com.

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, 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, such as BusinessIQSM, that assist clients 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 http://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 São Paulo, Brazil.

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.