Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. companies’ borrowing to spend on capital investment fell in October, trade association Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.
Companies signed up for $7.7 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, down 8 percent from a year earlier. Their borrowing fell 8 percent from September.
“Some members report a softening in the demand side of the business and it remains to be seen whether and to what extent the specter of rising interest rates will impact the sector,” ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a statement.
Credit approvals totaled 80.1 percent in October, down slightly from 80.5 percent in September, said ELFA, a Washington-based trade association that reports economic activity for the $1.05 trillion equipment finance sector.
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 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 rose to 60.2 in November from 58.7 in October.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru)