Small-business lending grew 4.9% to $282.3 billion in the 12 months through June 1995, but with wide regional variations, according to an article by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

While the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest posted double-digit growth in business loans of less than $1 million, the Northeast experienced a 13.9% drop, according to the article, one of the most comprehensive analyses of small-business lending during the period.

"Such a decline is perhaps less worrisome here than it would be in the rest of the country, since small-business lending comprises a relatively small fraction of this region's total business credit extended," the uncredited article said.

The $58.9 billion in loans granted by Northeastern banks in 1995 represented 26.2% of the region's total business credit. Midwestern banks lent $25.4 billion, 53.5% of total business credit. The article ran in last month's issue of Economic Trends.

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