TORONTO (Reuters) - Commercial borrowing by small and medium-sized businesses in Canada slowed for the second quarter in a row last quarter, though it was still up from a year earlier, a PayNet survey showed on Wednesday.
PayNet, which tracks commercial financing for millions of small and medium-sized businesses in North America, said its Canadian Business Lending Index fell to 213 in the second quarter from 219 in the first three months of the year.
Compared with the second quarter of 2013, however, the index was up 7 percent.
After a runup in borrowing by businesses since 2011, the pullback in the second quarter makes for a "healthy pause", said Bill Phelan, president of PayNet.
"We don't think it would have been sustainable to maintain that pace," he said. "So this moderating investment for us is a very, very good sign because it will help the expansion endure longer."
Moderate loan delinquencies - those that are behind in payments by 30 days or more - rose to 1.97 percent of loans in June from 1.83 percent the month before.
But loans that were more than 90 days late, which are considered loans severely in arrears, edged down to 0.35 percent from 0.37 percent.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway