Small Business Lending Picks Up After Months of Declines

Figures released Monday showed lending to Canadian small businesses improved in November after declining for the past six months on gains in the construction and transportation sectors, which could bode well for economic momentum heading into the end of 2017

The PayNet Small Business Lending index rose to 116.9 from an upwardly revised 115.3 in October, making for the first increase since April 2017. However, the measure of borrowing by medium-sized firms declined to 201.1 from 217.3.

Lending to small companies in the construction sector rose to 155.5 from 151.4, while transportation rose to 96.3 from 93.7.

Retail companies also rose to 201.8 from 198.2, though the manufacturing sector continued to lag, with its index falling to 59.4 from 60.8.

Officials with PayNet say that, lthough lending activity to small firms was down 1% compared to a year ago, the month-over-month gain is a positive sign that such firms could help lead economic growth.