Small busi­ness bor­row­ing rises

Oc­to­ber’s 11% jump shows own­ers could be get­ting more con­fi­dent on hir­ing.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS -

NEW YORK — Small busi­ness own­ers bor­rowed more in Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey, a sign that they might be get­ting more con­fi­dent about hir­ing.

Lend­ing to small com­pa­nies rose 11 per­cent from Septem­ber’s level, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­leased Mon­day by PayNet, which pro­vides credit rat­ings on small busi­nesses. Small busi­ness lend­ing has been er­ratic re­cently, drop­ping in Septem­ber af­ter in­creas­ing in July and Au­gust.

The Thom­son Reuters/ PayNet Small Busi­ness Lend­ing in­dex, which is based on new com­mer­cial loans and leases granted to small busi­nesses, rose to 107.5 from a re­vised 96.4.

Own­ers have been cau­tious about bor­row­ing be­cause of un­cer­tainty about the econ­omy. But re­cent re­ports have shown that small com­pa­nies are hir­ing slowly. And pos­i­tive news came from the government last week: The econ­omy grew at a bet­ter-than-ex­pected 2.7 per­cent an­nual rate dur­ing the third quar­ter.

That could en­cour­age own­ers to hire, although many may be wait­ing to see what ac­tion Congress will take on taxes and bud­get cuts for 2013. And small busi­nesses in the North­east are con­tend­ing with bil­lions of dol­lars in dam­age from Hur­ri­cane Sandy, which may make them un­easy about ex­pand­ing in the next few months.

Sev­eral re­ports this week will show whether busi­nesses stepped up their hir­ing dur­ing Novem­ber. Among them: the La­bor De­part­ment’s monthly em­ploy­ment report, which is due out on Fri­day.

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