Author: Terry Renoux, TRenoux@jackhenry.com
Lending activity across the U.S. is improving. Slowly … but improving nonetheless. Visits to partner banks in the western U.S. over the past couple of weeks indicate that businesses are becoming more optimistic about their ability to grow.
According to bank partners, the specific segments that are seeing growth are small manufacturers, transportation, and businesses with ties to the energy sector. The agriculture industry was also noted as a stronger segment right now due to the current condition of this year’s crop forecast. National surveys show that only 20 percent of bankers believe small business lending will stay the same in 2013 as compared to the last two years. An overwhelming majority, more than 60 percent, say they believe lending will improve; one-third of those lenders believe it will increase dramatically. Results from this same survey suggest that three out of four U.S. bankers are planning to aggressively pursue small business lending in the coming year.