OTTAWA Dec 14 Lending activity to small
businesses in Canada declined in October as a retreat in
customer-oriented industries outpaced gains in the manufacturing
sector, a report showed on Wednesday.
The PayNet Canadian Small Business Lending Index fell to
113.6 from 116.4 in September. The measure has declined in eight
out of 10 months in 2016 so far. Lending to medium-sized firms
similarly fell to 208.8 in October from 222.4.
While borrowing by firms in consumer-related areas such as
retail and food and accommodation slowed, the index for
manufacturers increased to 66.1 from 65.5.
That's a positive sign for an economy that has been
grappling with the impact of lower oil prices, said PayNet
President Bill Phelan. Economists have been looking for stronger
growth in the manufacturing sector to help offset the downturn
in Canada's oil patch.
"We see this stable churn where there's a change in these
sectors from energy and the consumer into manufacturing and
exporting," said Phelan. "It just shows the constant shift that
is going on with the Canadian economy."
Delinquency rates were also encouraging with the number of
firms that were 30 days or more behind on their loans falling to
1.08 percent in October from 1.17 percent the month before.
Companies that were late by 90 days or more held steady at
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Alan Crosby)