NEEDHAM, Mass. — Commercial and small business lending balances increased in 2007 despite the subprime mortgage collapse and a spiral down of consumer lending, according to new data from TowerGroup.

Commercial loan outstandings rose 9.4% for the first nine months of 2007. Loan growth accelerated in 2007, with the largest increase coming in the third quarter at 3.8%, said Patricia Hines, senior analyst, wholesale banking at TowerGroup and author of the research, From Crunch to Squeeze: Global Impact of the Credit Crisis on Commercial and Small Business Lending.

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