June 2, 2016 / 9:00 AM / a year ago

U.S. small business borrowing fell in April -PayNet

June 2 (Reuters) - U.S. small business borrowing fell in April, data released on Thursday showed, pointing to dimmer prospects of stronger economic growth in coming months.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index fell to 129.0, down from March’s downwardly revised 135.1 and marking the index’s seventh decline in the last 10 months. The PayNet index typically corresponds to U.S. gross domestic product growth one or two quarters ahead.

The drop in borrowing suggests a “slower economy ahead,” said Bill Phelan, president of PayNet.

Small business borrowing is a key barometer of growth because little firms tend to do much of the hiring that drives economic gains.

Loans more than 30 days past due rose in April to 1.5 percent, from 1.48 percent in March, separate data from PayNet showed.

PayNet collects real-time loan information such as originations and delinquencies from more than 325 leading U.S. lenders. (Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chris Reese)

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