The Credit Managers’ Index inched up to 46.6 in June from 45.4 in May, which is still below the 50 level that marks growth but indicates that a recovery could be imminent. “The data has not yet been enough to push past the point of contraction to expansion,” according to NACM economist Chris Kuehl, “but it is getting ever closer to that point, that expansion is only a month or two away.”

The manufacturing sector registered a strong gain last month, and some sectors have risen above the expansion line, according to the National Association of Credit Management.

David Levy, chairman of the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center, is not convinced. “Going forward, we continue to believe that the economy is more likely experiencing a false bottom—to be followed by further deterioration—than the beginning of a recovery, although a feeble recovery the second half of 2009 is a possibility,” he writes in a July 6 bulletin.

Meanwhile, CreditSights believes that the housing market may be in for additional weakness in coming months, “based on recent negative development in the mortgage market and continued weakness in the labor market.”

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