Canadian commercial lending jumps to three-and-half year high: PayNet

Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:06am EST
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Commercial borrowing by Canadian companies hit the highest level in the third quarter since early 2009, a PayNet survey showed on Wednesday, suggesting businesses played an outsized role in supporting the economy as growth cooled.

PayNet, which tracks commercial financing to millions of North American small and medium-sized businesses, said its Canadian Business Lending Index rose 5 percent from the second quarter and 20 percent year-over-year.

"We're seeing persisting capital expenditures and low risk in the market place right now, so it bodes well for the Canadian economy," said Anthony Zambon, director of PayNet Canada.

"If capital is the engine of growth in Canada, we're seeing that the Canadian economy will keep growing over the next three to five months."

The index rose to a reading of 172, its highest level since the first quarter of 2009. PayNet said its Canadian index is rising twice as fast as the corresponding U.S. index.

The index marked an eighth consecutive quarter of growth since bottoming in 2010 and the fifth straight double-digit advance on a year-over-year basis.

Still, Zambon said the pace of growth had eased compared with the second quarter when lending activity notched an 8 percent rise over the prior quarter and a 21 percent gain year-over-year.

The commercial lending sector includes independent finance companies, big banks and non-bank players such as machinery makers, whose loans and leases to customers are secured against the equipment sold.   Continued...