Small business lending up for 2nd-straight month

NEW YORK (AP) — BORROWING MOMENTUM: Small businesses increased their borrowing for a second-straight month in August, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index. The index rose 1 percent to 116.6 from July.

WHAT IT MEANS: This could be a sign that small businesses are feeling more secure about borrowing. The index has fluctuated for more than a year as companies took out more loans and leases, and then retreated. Business owners have been reluctant to borrow to expand their companies because they're uncertain about the economy and the impact of the health care law on their profits.

IMPROVING CREDIT HEALTH: A separate index that measures loan delinquencies by small businesses fell during August, a sign that companies' finances continue to improve and that they're having an easier time paying their bills.

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