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Small Business Lending Sees Slight Increase

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 5/2/2011

Small business lending rose 12 percent year-over-year in March.

The newest Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index may bear positive small business finance news, but that doesn't mean the results aren't without a few caveats.

Small Business Lending Increase

According to the survey, lending to U.S. small businesses rose by 12 percent in March, compared to a year earlier. However, this number represents a slowing of the growth rate, as February saw the total volume of financing to this sector increase 17 percent year-over-year.

"Small business balance sheets are pristine right now," William Phelan, PayNet's president and founder, told Reuters. "There's a lot of potential out there (for growth), but we need to see the demand come back to ignite it."

However, separate data from PayNet also found that small business loan defaults hit their lowest point last month in four and a half years, the source noted.

The positive yet mild increase in small business lending accords with the slowly increasing hiring rate in the sector. A newly released survey from Intuit reported small business hiring increased by 0.3 percent in April.

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