Small-business conditions improve: lower bankruptcies, quicker payments, credit balances lower

Finally, some good news about small businesses and finance.

The global information services company Experian reports this week that “small-business credit conditions have improved and reached an all-time high.”

According to the latest Experian/Moody’s Analytics Business Credit Index, the salubrious results are attributed to growth in outstanding credit balances and third-quarter delinquency rates that have reached “the lowest level on record, falling to 8.8 percent from 9.3 percent in the previous quarter.”

“Small businesses are on increasingly solid financial ground,” said Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi. “Most are benefiting from stronger demand for their goods and services, low interest rates and reduced debt loads.”

Among other data in the latest report: Businesses have reduced the number of days late for payments, and they have seen a 4.5 percent increase in average “commercial risk score,” from 58 to 60.6.

Also, the third quarter saw 11.9 percent fewer businesses filing for bankruptcy than in the same quarter of 2013.