Canadian commercial lending rises in first quarter: PayNet

Wed May 29, 2013 1:50pm EDT
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By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Commercial borrowing by small and medium-sized businesses in Canada climbed in the first quarter, driven by robust domestic and global demand, a PayNet survey showed on Wednesday.

PayNet, which tracks commercial financing for millions of North American small and medium-sized businesses, said its Canadian Business Lending Index rose to 194, the highest level since it was created in 2005.

The index rose 4 percent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter and was up 29 percent year-over-year.

"The demand for our goods and services, and our resources is definitely fueling the increase in investment by Canadian businesses," Anthony Zambon, director of PayNet Canada, said.

"The data shows small- and medium-sized businesses are resilient and continuing to invest, with the prospect of supporting economic growth in the near future."

Small- and mid-sized businesses have been stepping up investment in the construction of plants and commercial buildings and in machinery and equipment, he added.

The advance marked the 10th consecutive quarter of growth since the index bottomed out in 2010, and the seventh straight double-digit advance on a year-over-year basis.

The PayNet data, which tracks lending across sectors including manufacturing, retail and transportation, showed that commercial loan growth in Canada outstripped growth in the United States.   Continued...