American Small Business Credit is Healthy After Shutdown

on November 06 2013 1:36 PM

Though the government shutdown in October was tough, American small business credit quality as a whole is improving thanks to a rise in credit balances and a decrease in delinquency. Though there are some differences between businesses in the American West and East, on the whole credit is the healthiest it has been since the beginning of the financial recovery.

“Small businesses are getting their finances in order,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, according to a press release. As businesses are paying more of their outstanding balances, their credit balances are increasing.

“It won’t be a straight line up for small businesses, and the recent government shutdown hurt, but their prospects are improving.”

According to the report from Experian/Moody’s Analytics released Tuesday, their Small Business Credit Index rose for a third straight quarter hitting 118.5, up 2.3 points from the previous quarter. Though outstanding balances are rising faster than they have in the past two years, they’re still the lowest they have been since the financial crisis – just 10 percent in Q3 2013.

But small businesses in the West are doing better than their counterparts to the East. The weakest credit performance was found in Florida’s small businesses. One quarter of all their balances are paid beyond contracted terms. Meanwhile, just 1.1 percent of total balances in Utah small businesses are past-due.

Though most of the results were good, it still won’t be easy going forward.  

“It is imperative that small businesses maintain the discipline demonstrated over the past several quarters,” said Joel Pruis, Experian’s senior business consultant, adding that their improved ability to maintain good credit will help them “uncover new growth opportunities.” 

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