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Experian’s Business Information Services today released the Q4 2013 Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index. According to the report, the index’s fourth quarter reading is the highest since data tracking began, and is a solid indication that small businesses are finally reaping some of the benefits of the nearly five-year-old U.S. recovery.
Additionally, the October shutdown of the U.S. Government appears to have had little to no effect on small business, as companies with less than 100 employees kept account balances in check, and overall credit balances grew. The report indicated this growth in credit balances was due in part to financial institutions loosening credit terms for small businesses, as well as an increase in business-to-business credit transactions.
“The ability to gain access to funding and resources when needed is critical to the growth and success of any small business,” said Joel Pruis, Experian’s senior business consultant. “The trends seen in Q4 are a good sign for the economy, because as more credit options become available to small businesses, the better their chances to weather the short term challenges they may face.”
While the increased availability of credit contributed to the improvement of the index, growth was tempered by a slight rise in delinquency rates. In Q4 2013, the report found that delinquency rates worsened by 0.1 percentage points, increasing to 10.2 percent from 10.1 percent the previous quarter.