Though there are potential clouds on the horizon due to economic issues overseas and the Ebola concerns, small-business credit conditions are improving as of the third quarter, according to the latest Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index.
The index, based on behavior of firms with fewer than 100 employees, gained two points in the third quarter, reaching the level of 114.8. That’s up from a revised second-quarter index of 112.2.
“This is the second consecutive quarterly gain for the index after harsh winter weather pushed it lower in the first three months of this year and provides compelling evidence that the small-business landscape continues to report,” according to the quarterly index report.
Among the factors lifting the index:
• Credit more plentiful. Outstanding credit balances grew by 4.9% annualized and are up 1.9% from a year ago. “This marks a noticeable acceleration from earlier in the recovery and reinforces the notion that the small-business credit spigot is reopening after years of difficulty obtaining credit,” the report stated.
• Delinquencies are improving. “The share being paid late fell to 8.8% last quarter,” the report said, “the lowest rate since data tracking began.” The report noted that the rate represents a fall of 0.5 percentage point from the 9.3% level of the second quarter—the second steepest quarterly decline in the history of the index.
A free webinar recounting the report’s highlights will be presented Nov. 18. To register, click here.