US business borrowing for equipment rises in November - ELFA

Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:04pm EST

Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. companies' borrowing to spend on capital investment rose in November, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.

Companies signed up for $6.6 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up 3 percent from a year earlier. Their borrowing fell 13 percent from October.

"Fiscal pressures seem to be dissipating with the U.S. Congress agreeing on a two-year budget, which should ... provide a measure of comfort to U.S. businesses trying to make planning decisions for the coming year and beyond," ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a statement.

Washington-based ELFA, a trade association that reports economic activity for the $827 billion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 76.5 percent in November, down from 77.6 percent in October.

ELFA's leasing and finance index measures the volume of commercial equipment financed in the United States. It is designed to complement the U.S. Commerce Department's durable goods orders report, which it typically precedes by a few days.

ELFA's index is based on a survey of 25 members that include Bank of America Corp, BB&T Corp, CIT Group Inc and the financing affiliates or subsidiaries of Caterpillar Inc, Deere & Co, Verizon Communications Inc, Siemens AG, Canon Inc and Volvo AB.

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA's non-profit affiliate, said its confidence index fell to 55.8 in December from 56.9 in November.

A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook.

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