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PayNet: Small Business Borrowing at Near 4-Year High in November

January 03, 2012, 07:30 AM
Filed Under: Economy

Reuters reported that the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to small businesses, surged 10.2%  to 106.4, the highest level since February 2008. The index was up 18% from November 2010.

According to the report, borrowing by small U.S. businesses hit its highest level in nearly four years in November, pointing to underlying strength in the economy.

PayNet founder Bill Phelan stated "We are entering a new phase of the business cycle. Businesses are betting on the future with increased investment spending."

As reported, the survey adds to other data suggesting the economy gathered momentum in the final three months of 2011, which should help it to better handle the headwinds from the debt crisis in Europe and fights over budget policy in Washington.

"It (surge in borrowing) tells us there will be growth for at least the next quarter," said Phelan. "There is underlying strength in the economy that is not being reported elsewhere."

Reuters reported that the survey also found that small businesses are getting better at managing their debt, with loan delinquencies continuing to drop. Accounts in moderate delinquency, or those behind by 30 days or more, dropped five basis points to 1.50 percent in November. Those behind 90 days or more in payments, or in severe delinquency, slipped 1 basis point to 0.39 percent. Accounts 180 days or more, or in default and unlikely ever to be paid, fell six basis points to 0.58 percent.

The report quotes Phelan saying, "We are now in this new phase of growth and low risk. The key question is how long is this phase going to last?"


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