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Barely Working: The 2003 Working Capital Survey

Companies squeezed more cash from their businesses this year -- but not much. Was it the economy, or too much focus on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance?

U.S. Versus Europe
A comparison of the top 1,000 companies (by sales, in $billions, for all figures) here and in Europe show European firms narrowing the gap. Despite deterioration in DPO, they improved their average DWC by 7.6 percent. Their U.S. counterparts displayed an unimpressive 2.1 percent improvement in DWC in 2002.
U.S. Firms % Change
2002 vs. 2001
Europe % Change
2002 vs. 2001
Sales $6.76 1.60% $5.75 -4.00%
DWC 55.7 -2.10 55.7 -7.60
DSO 59.7 0.80 60.8 -4.10
DIO 30.8 -2.10 36.9 -6.60
DPO 34.8 3.00 42.00 -1.40
Source: REL Consultancy Group

A Working Capital Glossary

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