Turlock Livestock Auction Yard

Dairy replacement sales results from Turlock, Calif., on March 28:


#1 Hol Springers: $1800-$2500

#2 Hol Springers: $1400-$1775

# 1 Jer Springers: $1500-$1925

# 1 Jer x Springers: $1200-$2225


Holstein Bred Heifers: No test

Holstein Open Heifers: No test



Credit Managers' Index for March stalls

The National Association of Credit Management’s monthly economic report showed the effects of a continued harsh winter, but at least the roller coaster ride seems to have ended for the moment. An improvement in the amount of credit extended was tempered by a decline in the number of companies applying for credit, indicating continued caution.

The March 2014 Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) stalled at February and December levels, leaving  January’s spike as the anomaly. However, a holding pattern due in part to the effects of a harsh winter is preferred to a decline, leaving room for some optimism about the economy in months to come.

The CMI monitors "positive" and “negative” factors in U.S. manufacturing and service sectors. Positive factors include sales, new credit applications and amount of credit extended. Negative factors include rejections of credit applications, accounts placed for collection, and dollar amount beyond terms.

Most of the factors comprising the March CMI stayed the same from the previous month, with a few notable exceptions. Favorable factors slipped very slightly, with sales, new credit applications and dollar collections slightly lower. The only positive shift was in amount of credit extended. The unfavorable factor index showed the same kind of behavior, with an almost imperceptible rise. There is no evidence of severe financial turmoil.

“The rise in amount of credit extended is better news than it might seem as it suggests some anticipation for better days ahead,” said NACM economist Chris Kuehl. “That credit was being extended despite the drop in applications for credit is a good sign in general.”

Ample evidence suggests that weather caused a great deal of disruption in almost every category. The transportation system was paralyzed several times, affecting everything from manufacturing to retail. The most recent Federal Reserve Beige Book readings reported that weather had caused a slowdown in the economic growth in nine of the 12 districts.

For a full breakdown of the manufacturing and service sector data and visuals, view the complete March 2014 report at http://web.nacm.org/CMI/PDF/CMIcurrent.pdf. CMI archives may also be viewed on NACM’s website at http://web.nacm.org/cmi/cmi.asp.

NACM and its network of affiliated associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information, education, products and services.


Midwest economic growth slower in February

The Midwest Economy Index (MEI) declined in February, indicating that regional economy was growing at a rate consistent with national economic growth.

The index is a weighted average of 129 state and regional indicators encompassing the five states in the Seventh Federal Reserve District (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin). The index measures growth in non-farm business activity based on indicators of four broad sectors of the Midwest economy: 1) manufacturing, 2) construction and mining, 3) services, and 4) consumer spending.

February’s pace of manufacturing activity decreased in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin, but increased in Indiana. The construction and mining sector’s contribution was lower in Indiana and Iowa, but higher in Michigan and Wisconsin, and unchanged in Illinois. The pace of service sector activity decreased in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, but was unchanged in Iowa. Consumer spending indicators were, on balance, down in all five states.

MEI historical data and background information are available at www.chicagofed.org/mei.

Gross state product (GSP) growth forecasts are available at www.chicagofed.org/webpages/region/midwest_economy/index_data.cfm.