NEW YORK (AP) — BORROWING STALLS: Small business owners are still hesitant about borrowing, according to Thomson Reuters and PayNet. The companies' Small Business Lending Index released Friday fell to 104.8 in June from May's revised 113.7. The May increase was the first gain in the index this year.
WHAT IT MEANS: Businesses that have paid down their debt since the recession don't want to borrow to expand until they're sure their sales are strong enough to support debt payments. Many are also waiting to see how health costs under the Affordable Care Act will affect their companies.
GOOD OR BAD FOR THE ECONOMY: If companies don't expand, that can hold back economic growth. But if they keep hiring, and consumers keep spending, owners may be more willing to take some risks and borrow.