Liberty’s SBA and Owner Occupied CRE Lending Report For 1/8/2014

Confidence Inching Higher, But Still Negative

While small business confidence is up, it’s not where it used to be and if you consider a smaller negative a positive, then the latest Gallup Economic Confidence Index has a bit of good news. On the last day of 2013, Gallup reported that more Americans are still saying that the economy is getting worse than are saying it’s getting better.

The index averaged -17, much better than the -39 from mid-October in the middle of the federal government shutdown. The dip in confidence came back up to pre-shutdown levels but hasn’t recovered to the peak of -3 measured in June. Confidence still remains in negative territory.

Ignoring the huge (and probably expected) drop in confidence government shutdown, the index shows that Americans are more confident in the economy this year than the last six.

“Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index averaged -16 for all of 2013, up from -21 in 2012 and the best score since Gallup began tracking economic confidence daily in 2008,” reported Gallup.

Business Lending Seeks Alternatives 

With bank lending to businesses tightening up during the Great Recession, owners had to find alternative methods to get cash and that sometimes meant much higher rates. The SBA still lent $30 billion last year and other sources accounted for the rest but Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) lending is on the rise and as one executive said, these organizations serve as ““tugboat lenders” because they bring banks and other large institutions into the market.

“It’s our job to show that it’s possible to lend to small businesses at reasonable rates and get repaid and repay our investors,” he says.

To see out SBA rates for this week, click here.