The Tatum Survey of Business Conditions May 2013

Sam Norwood

 Highlights as of May 1, 2013





  • The Tatum Index dipped slightly as the six-month upward improvement in business conditions waned, and there are concerns regarding the 60-day outlook.
  • With the exception of business conditions in the past 30 days, all indicators are down due to uncertainty in the economic outlook.
  • Technology and healthcare businesses registered the most positive results over the last month, while financial businesses were the weakest.
  • Large and mid-market companies showed the best results, while smaller companies were on the downside. This may be due to the effects of sequestration and small-business concerns regarding new healthcare regulations.

Business conditions are beginning to show weakness, especially in the outlook. A pattern of a mid- year slump has been evident in the past three years, which has been a repeated pattern in the Survey.

Tatum Index of Business Conditions
The Tatum Index of Business Conditions is a simple average of the ratio of our respondents who are reporting improvement versus those reporting a worsening in business conditions for the past 30 days and the next 60 days.

As of May 1, the Tatum Index registered a two-month steep decline following March’s steep rise. This decline was influenced greatly by the 60-day outlook, which has caused a downward inflection of the three-month moving average not seen since October 2012.

Order Backlogs
The percentage of respondents reporting an improvement in orders on hand declined to 34% from 41%. Those reporting worsened backlogs declined to 13% from 16%.

Capital Expenditure Commitments
The percentage of respondents reporting higher commitments to capital expenditures declined slightly to 30% from 31%. The percentage committing less to capital equipment also rose, moving to 21% from 15%.

The percentage of respondents hiring more workers decreased to 18% from 24% a month ago. Those indicating they hired less rose to 12% from 9%.

Capital Availability and Pricing
The percentage of respondents indicating improved financing conditions fell to 26% from 34%. Those indicating worsening conditions decreased to 4% from 7% last month.

We hope you found Tatum's Commentary interesting and useful. We welcome your comments and questions. Click the link below to view the complete report: May 2013 Tatum Survey of Business Conditions


Sam Norwood 
Senior Partner 

Copyright 2013 Tatum, LLC All Rights Reserved.

Any use or reproduction of the contents of this report without the written consent of Tatum, LLC is strictly prohibited. The authors are not engaged in rendering legal, investment or other professional services by publication of this report. Information contained in this report should not be used as a substitute for professional advice, legal, investment or otherwise, on any particular issue.


Print page