The Thomas Reuters/Paynet Small Business Lending Index reports that US small businesses took out more loans and cash advances in January than they did a year before. After hitting record lending highs in December, January’s lending rate decreased. Yet the mark was still improving on January 2013’s at a 4% increase.

The decline from December is no surprise as December usually tops for loans and cash advances as businesses reconcile their budget for the year.

December was a frosty month as the remarkably cold winter hurt retail sales, industrial production, and even home sales. Yet the high lending mark for January is a strong indicator for future growth.

Signs of Growth

The Paynet Small Business Lending Index is an excellent barometer for economical growth. Small business cash advances and loans usually show expansion and the purchase of new equipment—both of which correlate to future hiring.

Unemployment in the US has been on the decline albeit it at a slow and steady pace. The continued signs of growth are promising signs as the economy continues on its recovery pace.

Loan Delinquency Down

A second index produced by Paynet shows that loan delinquency is on the decline. Delinquencies of 31-180 days slipped to 1.45% in January, down from 1.46% in December. Overdue loans were at an all-time high in August 2009 at 4.73% but the record low was as recent as October 2013 when they were at 1.44%.

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