Daily News: January 24, 2014

Direct Capital Small Business Index Predicts Growth in 2014

The small business economy finished 2013 on a high note and shows clear signs of making further gains in 2014, according to the Small Business Lending Index released by Direct Capital.

Direct Capital’s index for December continued a series of trends in 2013 that support optimistic forecasts for the 2014 economy. The index showed that December saw a 7.9% increase in small business financing activity over November and an 11% gain from December of the previous year.

The December numbers cap off a strong, 2013 that showed 21.5% growth over 2012 lending activity levels. Q4 was the strongest quarter of 2013, recording a 15% improvement over Q3. October and December were the strongest months of the year.

The Small Business Lending Index’s results substantiate forecasts for a robust 2014 for small business. The Wall Street Journal predicted as early as December that entrepreneurial businesses were poised for a rebound, driven by factors such as an improving construction market and an increase in consumer spending.

“The patterns we observed over the course of 2013 in our Small Business Lending Index point to a very healthy 2014 for financing activity,” said Direct Capital senior vice president Stephen Lankler. “When we look at 2013 as a whole and what businesses sought financing for, you see a lot of durable purchases like equipment and expanded facilities. That demonstrates confidence in economic conditions and supports predictions for a strong 2014.”

The Direct Capital Small Business Lending Index is based on an algorithm that collects data from more than 200 sources. It documents small business spending patterns and indicates future economic activity.