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Thomson Reuters/PayNet: Small Business Borrowing Surged in October

December 02, 2011, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Economy

Reuters reported the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to small businesses, rose 20% in October after increasing a revised 12% in September. The report indicates the index registered a 15th monthly double-digit increase, signaling the economy will continue to grow in coming months.

However, at 98.1, the index indicates borrowing has not recovered to its level of 100 achieved in 2005.  PayNet tracks borrowing by millions of small U.S. businesses, which cut back dramatically on borrowing in 2008 and 2009.

"It's not showing tremendous strength," PayNet founder Bill Phelan said in an interview. "But certainly this shows we are not headed for a double dip."

The report states the data was recorded before the latest surge in urgency over the European debt crisis. 

Europe hasn't hit our shores yet," Phelan added. "When and if that happens, all bets are off."

A drop in delinquencies to a record low suggests companies are in better financial health, the PayNet data shows.

• Accounts 90 days or more behind in payments, or in severe delinquency, fell to 0.38% in October, a record, from 0.41% in September.

• Accounts in moderate delinquency, or those behind by 30 days or more, fell to 1.51% from 1.60% in September, PayNet said.

• Accounts behind 180 days or more, or in default and unlikely ever to be paid, fell to 0.64% of total receivables in October, from 0.65% in September, according to PayNet, which provides risk-management tools to the commercial    lending industry.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet small business lending index is correlated to developments in the overall economy, with changes in the index preceding changes in the overall U.S. economy by two to five months. PayNet collects real-time loan information, such as originations and delinquencies, from more than 250 leading U.S. capital equipment lenders.

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