Darryl L. DePriest is the seventh presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Chief Counsel for the Office of Advocacy.
Prior to joining the Small Business Administration Office of...
Small business borrowing conditions continued to improve gradually in the first quarter of 2015. For example, the percent change in small business loans outstanding (in amounts of $1 million or less) remained positive or unchanged for the sixth consecutive quarter.
Economic activity in the United States was stronger in the second half of 2014 compared to the first half of 2014. Favorable financial conditions, including declines in the cost of borrowing for most businesses and households, supported this growth.
Small business lending has stabilized and continues to move upward. Several small business economic and lending indicators show the U.S economy is improving, as financial conditions continue to support economic growth.
Small business loans remained constant from the last quarter of 2013 into the first quarter of 2014 (Figure 1). This was not the case for real gross domestic product (GDP), which contracted after experiencing 11 quarters of growth. GDP rebounded in the second quarter of 2014 (not shown). For the second quarter in a row (2013 Q4-2014 Q1), total small business loans1 outstanding under $1 million remained positive.
Data for the fourth quarter of 2013 show signs of improvement in small business lending. For the first time in fifteen consecutive quarters, both the value and volume of small business loans increased simultaneously—by 0.4 percent and 1.1 percent respectively
Small business loan growth continued to fluctuate in the 3rd, 2013. Total loan values declined slightly, but the actual volume of small business loans increased by 1 percent after being in negative territory for the last four quarters.
Borrowing conditions improved for small businesses in the second quarter of 2013. Between April and June, bankers reported stronger demand along with eased bank lending policies for business loans. Total small business commercial and industrial loans experienced growth for the third consecutive quarter.
Small businesses saw gradual strengthening in the overall economy in the first quarter of 2013 as borrowing conditions continued to improve. Borrowing by small firms contracted slightly during December 2012 and March 2013. In general, bankers reported stronger demand along with eased bank lending policies for business loans.
Financial conditions were supportive of economic growth, and borrowing conditions for small firms gradually improved. The declines in small business lending stabilized, and small business borrowing turned up for the first time in 10 quarters.
Small business loans outstanding in all loan sizes declined less than 1 percent in third quarter 2012. Declines were less pronounced in small business commercial real estate loans. Small business demand for loans was unchanged on net.
U.S. economic activity increased in the first half of 2012 at a slower pace than at the end of 2011, and total lending to small firms inched downward. The decline was generated primarily by commercial real estate loans; in general, the climate was supportive of economic growth.
Small business borrowing remained slow in the first quarter of 2012. The number of C&I loans increased, while commercial real estate loans remained unchanged.
Small business borrowing remained subdued in the fourth quarter of 2011. Advocacy’s Quarterly Lending Bulletin shows that total small business borrowing declined at a much slower pace than in the previous quarter. The value of small business commercial and industrial (C&I) loans increased for the first time in seven quarters.
Financial conditions in the third quarter continued to be supportive of economic growth. Nonetheless, demand for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans remained weak. Overall, the results indicate that small business lending appears to be stable when compared to previous quarters and other economic indicators.
The Quarterly Lending Bulletin for the second quarter, 2011, presents a brief analysis of the current small business lending situation and shows a drop in loans outstanding to small businesses.
This bulletin showed a drop in loans outstanding to small businesses during the first quarter of 2011 compared with the previous quarter. Total business loans outstanding and gross domestic product continued to trend upward.
The Office of Advocacy released its first Quarterly Lending Bulletin, which summarizes small business lending using the Call Report data.