Small business lending up for 2nd straight month

BORROWING RECOVERY: Small businesses increased their borrowing for a second straight month in May, according to Thomson Reuters and PayNet. The two companies' Small Business Lending Index rose to 115.1 in May from April's revised 108.1. The index had fallen since December.

START OF A TREND? The gain in the index indicates that small business owners are taking a few more risks after hunkering down during the first quarter. The increase in borrowing is in line with the gradual pickup in hiring at small businesses the past few months.

WHY IT MATTERS: Small business owners had cut back their borrowing because of uncertainty about the economy and what Congress might do to raise taxes and cut the budget. The economy is growing slowly and so far, it doesn't appear to have been hurt by tax hikes and budget cuts. That has lessened some of the anxiety that company owners felt.

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