June 3 U.S. small businesses borrowed more in
April than in March, driving the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small
Business Lending Index to a seven-year high, according to data
released on Tuesday.
Defaults on loans stayed near record lows, a separate PayNet
Together the figures suggest small business owners are
becoming more optimistic about future growth without
overextending themselves, boding well for continued overall U.S.
economic expansion, PayNet founder Bill Phelan said.
"There must have been some pent-p demand" after the
unusually severe winter, Phelan said. Now, he said, "we are
really gaining steam."
The index, which measures the volume of financing to small
companies, rose to 126.5 in April from 115.3 in March, PayNet
said. That was the highest since March 2007, and marked the
second 18-percent year-on-year gain in a row.
The index is correlated with U.S. gross domestic product
growth two to five months ahead, and adds to evidence suggesting
the U.S. economy is set for a rebound after a dismal first
A separate index released by PayNet showed loan
delinquencies unchanged from the prior month, with delinquencies
of 31 to 180 days, PayNet's broadest measure of late loan
payments, at 1.49 percent of all loans made.
The index hit a high of 4.73 percent in August 2009. The
record low was 1.44 percent last October.
PayNet collects real-time loan information such as
originations and delinquencies from more than 250 leading U.S.
(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by James Dalgleish)