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Reuters: Small Businesses Cut Borrowing for Second Straight Month

April 02, 2013, 07:09 AM
Filed Under: Economy

Reuters reported small U.S. businesses cut back on borrowing in February for a second straight month, indicating slower growth ahead.

According to the Reuters report, the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to small U.S. companies, fell to 101.3 from a downwardly revised 111.7 in January, PayNet said on Tuesday. The data provides a counterpart to generally positive signals from the broader economy, including a rise in consumer spending and sentiment, and at least some signs of strength at factories.

Small business borrowing grew just 2% from a year earlier, the index showed, the slowest year-on-year increase since September. PayNet had initially reported the January figure at 113.1.

The report also indicates that early signs of financial stress are building. Specifically, the report cites trucking companies, whose behavior historically has led that of other small businesses, are having more trouble paying back their loans.  According to the report, delinquencies of 31 to 180 days among transportation service and warehouses companies rose to 1.85% in February, up from an all-time low of 1.55% last August, according to PayNet president William Phelan.

Delinquencies in other sectors are down. Overall, accounts overdue by one to six months slid to 1.58% from 1.62% of all loans made.

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