Confidence in a US-China trade deal helped to cushion business borrowing in the fourth quarter. Delinquent balances were up over the quarter due mainly to seasonal trends but were down from last year thanks to the continuation of the economy’s expansion. Weakness continued in agriculture and manufacturing businesses, but a trade deal could help these firms next year. All things considered, 2019 was a good year for small-business borrowing, and 2020 should bring more of the same.
The Experian/Moody’s Analytics Main Street Report brings deep insight into the overall financial well-being of the small-business landscape, as well as providing commentary around what certain trends mean for credit grantors and the small-business community. Key factors in the Main Street Report include a combination of business credit data (e.g., credit balances, delinquency rates, utilization rates) and macroeconomic information (e.g., employment rates, income, retail sales, industrial production).