July 24, 2014 / 3:15 PM / in 3 years

U.S. commercial paper supply lowest in 4 months

July 24 (Reuters) - The amount of U.S. commercial paper outstanding fell to its lowest level in four months, hinting at some slowing in demand from companies for loans to fund inventories and payrolls, data from the Federal Reserve showed on Thursday.

Seasonally adjusted U.S. commercial paper outstanding fell for a fourth consecutive week. It declined $2.4 billion in the week to July 23 to $1.026 trillion, according to central bank data.

This was the lowest level since $1.025 trillion in the week ended March 26.

Government reports showed a solid 0.5 percent growth in business inventories in May and employers added 288,000 workers in June, but some data signaled some pullback in hiring and stock building in recent weeks.

Non-seasonally adjusted commercial paper outstanding, which some analysts consider a more reliable reading than the seasonally adjusted one since it has been distorted by the financial crisis, rose $3.9 billion in the latest week to $1.051 trillion.

U.S. non-seasonally adjusted non-financial commercial paper outstanding rose $2.2 billion to $275.7 billion, while financial CP increased $4.0 billion on the week at $532.1 billion.

Asset-backed commercial paper outstanding, which was not adjusted for seasonal factors, fell $2.4 billion to $243.3 billion in the latest week.

Borrowing costs for companies through issuing CP little changed to lower on the week, Fed data showed.

For example, the average interest rate on non-financial CP that matures in 30 days was 0.08 percent on Wednesday, unchanged from a week earlier, while the average rate on 30-year financial CP was 0.08 percent, down from 0.10 percent a week ago. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by David Gregorio)

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