Both business failures and delinquencies seem to have taken a turn for the worse over the current reporting period.
This could be driven partially by four steady hikes in the Federal Reserve’s policy rate in 2018. With rates holding steady in the aftermath of the Great Recession, many businesses had started and thrived in the low interest rate environment. Those businesses may now be struggling to meet their financial obligations or to keep their doors open despite the recent cut in the rates.
Another growing cause of concern is the ongoing trade war between the US and China. The newly implemented tariffs on Chinese imports have so far resulted in modest (and expected) price increases for some consumer goods. Although some goods have received a temporary reprieve until December, the uncertainty generated by the situation will cause both businesses and consumers to tread with caution in the near term.
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