Access to Credit Improving... Barely
A number of sources are indicating that banks are relaxing lending standards -- leading to a slow increase in small business demand for loans. The graph below from the December issue of The Small Business Advocate suggests that brighter days are ahead. The latest report from the National Association of Credit Managers agrees -- showing a significant increase in the amount of credit extended from December 2008 to December 2009 along with a much smaller increase over the past three months. The overall index score mirrors that track and ended the year at 52.9 (a score of 50 is flat, above 50 shows growth and below 50 shows contraction) -- "essentially flat, but showing some mild progress."