Companies with fewer than 20 employees have improved their collection rates during the past four quarters, according to the D&B Payment Performance Index, which gauges the change in speed at which businesses pay their bills. The larger the negative number, the slower customers were at paying.

Company size Payment Performance Index

(by number of employees) (by quarter)

1994 Q2 Q3 Q4 1995 Q1

More than 500 -9.3 -6.1 -8.1 -9.3

20 to 499 -8.2 -6.8 -7.8 -7.6

1 to 19 -9.9 -9.6 -9.3 -9.1

All sizes -9.2 -8.4 -8.7 -8.6

Source: "Twelve Month Payment Performance Index," Dun & Bradstreet Information Services, Parsippany, N.J., May 1995.

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