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The amount companies borrow from banks can be an important economic indicator. That’s money those companies might use to buy new equipment or purchase more stuff to sell, or to expand their business or be more productive. And yet, despite a strong economy, last year the rate of business-loan growth slowed. To be clear, it’s not that corporate loans have shrunk, but where loans were growing in the double digits just a few years ago, loan growth was in the low single digits by the end of 2017. 

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Follow Tracey Samuelson at @tdsamuelson