Lending to small U.S. businesses rose in August for a second straight month, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, a sign the economy may have been regaining its footing even before the U.S. central bank’s latest round of stimulus, Reuters reported.

The index, which measures the overall volume of financing to small U.S. companies, rose to 109.9 from July’s upwardly revised 106.7, PayNet said. It was the highest level this year, Reuters said.

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