June 20 U.S. companies borrowed more in May to
invest in new equipment ranging from computer systems to
aircraft, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA)
said on Thursday.
Companies signed up for $7.5 billion in new loans, leases
and lines of credit last month, up 21 percent from a year
The borrowing remained unchanged on a month-on-month basis
"The May numbers provide concrete evidence of growing demand
for productive assets by a cross section of the business
community," ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a
Washington-based ELFA, a trade association that reports
economic activity for the $725 billion equipment finance sector,
said credit approvals totaled 78.8 percent in May, up from 77.2
percent in April.
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
CIT Group Inc, Bank of America Corp, BB&T Corp
and the financing affiliates or subsidiaries of
Caterpillar Inc, Deere & Co, Dell Inc,
Verizon Communications Inc, Siemens AG, Canon
Inc, and Volvo AB.
ELFA said it expects the positive trend to continue into the
"We think the second quarter should be strong. We have
another month to complete the quarter, and all of our indicators
seem to point to a pretty strong end of the quarter," said Ralph
Petta, chief operating officer of ELFA.
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA's
non-profit affiliate, said on Wednesday its June confidence
index rose to 57.3 from 56.7 in May, reflecting industry
participants' increasing optimism despite continued moderate
growth of business investment in equipment.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook.