Small business borrowing rises to 6-year high

NEW YORK (AP) — BORROWING BOOM: Small businesses are borrowing again, according to Thomson Reuters and PayNet. Their July Small Business Lending Index rose 11 percent to 117.7, from a revised 105.7, the month before. That's the highest level since August 2007.

The index, which was started in 2005, measures the amount of new loans small companies take out to invest in their businesses.

DELINQUENCIES STABLE: The Thomson Reuters and PayNet Small Business Delinquency Index slipped to 1.19 percent in July from 1.20 percent in June. That's the lowest delinquency rate since it was started in 2005. It's a sign that small companies are in better shape financially, and are able to pay their loans.

WHAT IT MEANS: "It bodes well for the economy," said William Phelan, PayNet Inc.'s president and co-founder. If small businesses are taking out more loans, and buying more goods and services, it could help boost the U.S. economy, he said.

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