Green Shoots, Although Tiny, Continue to Sprout

February 5, 2013

Thompson/Reuters reports Borrowing by small U.S. businesses rose marginally in December, eking out a tiny gain for the year and suggesting headwinds for economic growth for the first few months of 2013, a report on Monday showed.

Borrowing was up just 1 percent from a year earlier.

Small businesses are often responsible for the bulk of new job creation after recessions. The recent recession ended in 2009, but sluggish growth has meant weak job growth, and unemployment in January rose to 7.9 percent.

Separate PayNet data showed financial stress at near-record-low levels. Accounts overdue by 30 days fell to 1.20 percent of the total from 1.21 percent the previous month. A “normal” rate of delinquency is 1.5 percent to 1.6 percent, Phelan says.

Longer-term delinquency rates also eased. Accounts behind 180 days or more, which are considered in default and unlikely to be paid, dipped to 0.24 percent from 0.27 percent.

Accounts behind 90 days or more, or in severe delinquency, fell to 0.26 percent, from 0.27 percent.

PayNet collects real-time loan information, such as originations and delinquencies, from more than 250 leading U.S. lenders.

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