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PayNet: U.S. Small Businesses Pull Back on Investments in May

July 02, 2015, 07:03 AM
Filed Under: Economy

The May data release of the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index (SBLI), which is a leading economic indicator of GDP, decreased 8% from 140 in April 2015 to 128.5 in May 2015, as small businesses paused investing activities after several months of high growth. Compared to the same month one year ago, the SBLI is still up 3%.

“Small business took a breather last month after the high levels of investment over the prior quarter. This release isn’t surprising given the challenges building new property, plant and equipment,” states William Phelan, president of PayNet.

Although May is slower, trend line growth increased 9% compared to the same period a year ago, keeping intact the expansion trend that has now been in place for 26 months. Industries that are currently expanding are Transportation & Warehousing (+24%), Construction (+11%). Regionally, Florida (+7%), Georgia (+11%) and Pennsylvania (+12%) show the largest increases in borrowing and investment among small businesses.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Delinquency Index (SBDI) 31-90 days past due increased 1 basis point from 1.23% in April 2015 to 1.24% in May 2015. Low loan delinquencies mean investors are still skittish about taking on credit rapidly. Transportation and Retail 91-180 day delinquencies are at new all-time lows of 0.21% and 0.28% respectively. “Given the torrid pace of investment in February through April this year, a pause was in order for small business investment. Conditions such as increased hiring, increased compensation, higher inventories, and easier access to credit will follow in those industry groups showing the best performance,” Phelan added.

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