(Reuters) - U.S. companies’ borrowing to spend on capital investment fell 12 percent in November, trade association Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.
Companies signed up for $6.1 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, down 21 percent from October.
“Volume in the equipment finance sector, with some exceptions, continued to slow, reflecting a pull-back in consumer spending and business investment during the second half of the year,” ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a statement.
Credit approvals totaled 79 percent in November, down slightly from 80.1 percent in October, said ELFA, a Washington-based trade association that reports economic activity for the $1 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.
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, 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 is 60.2 for December, unchanged from November.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook.
Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza