November 21, 2016 / 8:15 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. business borrowing for equipment rises six percent in October: ELFA

(Reuters) - Borrowings by U.S. companies for capital investment rose 6 percent in October from a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Monday.

Companies signed up for $8.2 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, the Washington-based trade group said.

The ELFA reports economic activity for the $1 trillion equipment finance industry in the United States.

“The equipment finance sector continues to benefit from the Fed’s favorable monetary policy, keeping long-term interest rates low,” ELFA Chief Executive Ralph Petta said.

Total new borrowings in the first 10 months of the year fell 3 percent, ELFA said.

Credit approvals in October rose to 77.3 percent of all applications submitted from 76.6 percent in September.

ELFA’s leasing and finance index tracks the volume of commercial equipment financed in the United States. The index complements 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 lenders, including Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), BB&T Corp (BBT.N), CIT Group Inc (CIT.N) and the financing affiliates or units of Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), Deere & Co (DE.N), Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE) and Volvo AB (VOLVb.ST).

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA’s non-profit affiliate, said its confidence index fell to 54.6 for November from 56.0 for October.

The index is an indicator of the outlook for the equipment finance market, with a reading above 50 suggesting a positive outlook.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto

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