Small Business Health Index

Continued Challenges for Small Businesses Balanced by Positive Job Growth

Construction and real estate continued a downward trend;
Retail sector dropped 1.4%, the largest decline in 6 months

October 02, 2014 – SHORT HILLS, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE:DNB), the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, today released the October 2014 U.S. Economic Health Tracker which provides a monthly, multi-dimensional perspective on the U.S. economy, including small business health, total job growth, and overall U.S. business health. According to D&B’s proprietary data, the small businesses segment continues to decline as segments expected to ignite growth – such as housing – flounder as first-time homeowners remain absent and rental vacancies hit an all-time low.

“While overall business health across the country remains virtually unchanged, small businesses continue to experience inconsistent growth patterns,” said Paul Ballew, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Dun & Bradstreet. “The automotive industry, however, following last month’s growth trajectory, posted a promising boost of 1.6 percent. Yet despite this rebound, the construction and real estate markets, which account for 14 percent of the overall small business market, remain trapped in a period of consistent deflation, putting pressure on the segment as a whole.”

Improvements in payroll employment continue with an estimated 208,000 new non-farm jobs added in September. Indicators point to the emergence of new verticals expected to lead employment recovery in the long term. Access to credit continues to improve evidenced by a 3.8 percent uptick in credit card usage, as payment delinquencies take a 9.3 percent dip.

October 2014 Highlights

  • Small Business Health Index
    Latest reporting period shows a four-tenths of a point decline as business sectors, like housing, previously expected to buoy small business growth, throughout the year continue to underperform.
  • U.S. Jobs Health
    An estimated 208,000 new non-farm jobs were added to U.S. payrolls in September 2014, with notable gains in business services, manufacturing, trade transportation and utilities.
  • U.S. Business Health
    U.S. business health remained virtually unchanged in September 2014. Overall, U.S. businesses maintain on-time bill payments and exhibit lower risk of failure over the next 12 months.

Media Resources

  • Watch Ballew share his perspective on the state of the U.S. economy in a short video.
  • To download the October U.S. Economic Health Tracker Infographic, visit
  • Access the 2014 planned publishing schedule, FAQs, and archived reports at
  • Follow D&B Economic Insight daily on Twitter at @DnBEconomy.
While overall business health across the country remains virtually unchanged, small businesses continue to experience inconsistent growth patterns





About D&B’s U.S. Economic Health Tracker
This forward-looking perspective on the U.S. economy offers insights and monthly data using three macro indicators: (i) the D&B Small Business Health Index, (ii) the D&B U.S. Jobs Health Indicator; and (iii) the D&B U.S. Business Health Index. The index also leverages three D&B advanced analytic products (D&B’s Viability Score™, D&B Delinquency Predictor™, and D&B Total Loss Predictor™). D&B publishes its monthly U.S. Economic Health Tracker on the first Tuesday morning of most months and reporting periods reflect the most recent and complete month.

About Dun & Bradstreet® (D&B)
The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation is the world’s leading source of commercial data, analytics and insight on businesses. Our global commercial database contains more than 235 million business records. We transform commercial data into valuable insight which is the foundation of our global solutions that customers rely on to make critical business decisions.

D&B provides solution sets that meet a diverse set of customer needs globally. Customers use D&B Risk Management Solutions™ to mitigate credit and supplier risk, increase cash flow and drive increased profitability, and D&B Sales & Marketing Solutions™ to provide data management capabilities that provide effective and cost efficient marketing solutions to increase revenue from new and existing customers.

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