U.S. small businesses borrowed more money in January than they did a year earlier, signaling continued growth in the economy despite a spate of cold weather that has been blamed for weakness in many other indicators of activity.
The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of financing to small companies, rose to 117.2 in January, up 4 percent from a year earlier, PayNet said on Monday. The index was down from a nearly seven-year high in December, typically a strong month for borrowing as companies round out their budgets for the year.
A rise in the index is historically correlated with stronger U.S. economic growth a quarter or two in the future.
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"It was unexciting growth but it was growth nonetheless," PayNet founder Bill Phelan said.