Understanding the state of the small-business environment helps you make smarter decisions about your business finances and investments. Economic factors like unemployment rates, the availability of capital and current interest rates heavily influence the small-business environment. To help small-business owners get a clearer picture of the current environment, Experian®, the leading global information services company, and Moody’s Analytics, a leading independent provider of economic forecasting, recently released the latest Main Street Report. The report provides data and intelligence into the overall financial well-being of small businesses.
Here’s a breakdown of the latest insights from the Main Street Report, which evaluates fourth quarter performance from 2016. Overall credit performance is positive, and the outlook of lenders and business owners appears to be optimistic. Small-business owners did not increase their borrowing in the fourth quarter, using only 40 percent of the total credit available, and banks and finance companies appear increasingly willing to lend to small businesses. The small-business segment is healthy and the leading economic indicators are positive.
So what does this mean for your business? With the economy near full employment and ample business credit available, there is increased confidence among small-business owners. However, potential changes in fiscal policy will impact the small-business sector, so it’s important to factor that into your decision-making. For example, if the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy faster than anticipated, an interest rate shock could cause balance growth to slow and delinquencies to rise quickly, delivering a jolt to overall consumption and small businesses in particular.
For additional insights and to listen to the full results of the report, please register for the Main Street Report webinar on March 14 at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern. For a copy of the latest Experian/Moody’s Analytics Main Street Report, visit http://www.experian.com/business-information/landing/msr-q4-2016.html.