U.S. business borrowing for equipment rises 3% in August - ELFA

Sept 25 (Reuters) - U.S. companies’ borrowing to spend on capital investments rose 3% in August from a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Wednesday.

The companies signed up for $9.2 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up from $8.9 billion a year earlier. Borrowings fell 2% from the previous month.

“A variety of economic indicators all point to a continued pattern of sustained, moderate growth in many sectors within the equipment finance industry,” ELFA Chief Executive Officer Ralph Petta said in a statement.

Washington-based ELFA, which reports economic activity for the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 76.6%, up from 75.7% in July.

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.

The 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 units of Caterpillar Inc , Dell Technologies Inc, Siemens AG, Canon Inc and Volvo AB.

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA’s non-profit affiliate, said its monthly confidence index in September is 54.7, down from the August index of 58.9.

A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook. (Reporting by Dominic Roshan K.L. in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)