In the United States, borrowing by small businesses rose in August, and the percentage of firms calculated as having delinquencies on existing loans was up, too, according to data disclosed on Tuesday (Oct. 4).
As reported by the Thomson/Reuters PayNet Small Business Lending Index, the latest read was 133.7 in August, and that comes after a 123.1 reading in July, itself upwardly revised. Days counted had an effect on the readings, and Reuters noted that August had three more business days than had been logged in July. Loans that had been more than 30 days past due by August were at 1.6 percent, which marked the fifth straight increase in as many months and the highest level since Dec. 2012. The delinquency rate is collected from input via PayNet surveys of 325 U.S.-based lenders.
The newswire stated that small business growth metrics are of particular interest given the somewhat anemic growth rate of the U.S. economy and the fact that smaller enterprises comprise the bulk of hiring in the country. The Federal Reserve is also on the cusp (or not) of boosting interest rates. Whether interest rate boosts, or the specter of them, will actually lead to price hikes, salary hikes or have an impact on real hiring trends remains to be seen. Along those lines, the PYMNTS Store Front Business Index remained in positive territory, with wage growth of 6 percent in the second quarter of this year.