After four quarters of progress, small business credit conditions slipped as balances more than 90 days past due increases. The Q3 2012 report findings indicate tighter credit conditions by lenders due to receding credit balances. Additionally, the slowing growth of consumer spending continues to add pressure to small-business balance sheets as revenues dry up. Businesses feeling the pinch are dialing back hiring and other investments. However, small business credit health is expected to improve next year once the fiscal cliff is settled and a deal is struck to raise the debt ceiling.