(Reuters) - U.S. companies’ borrowing for capital investment rose 20 percent in December from a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.
Companies signed up for $12.9 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up 90 percent from November.
“... the equipment finance industry appears poised for the breakout performance industry observers have been waiting for,” ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a statement.
Washington-based ELFA, a trade association that reports economic activity for the $903 billion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 78.6 percent in December, slightly down from 79.1 percent in November.
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.
ELFA’s index is based on a survey of 25 members that include Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), BB&T Corp (BBT.N), CIT Group Inc (CIT.N) and the financing affiliates or subsidiaries of Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), Deere & Co (DE.N), Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE), Canon Inc (7751.T) and Volvo AB (VOLVb.ST).
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA’s non-profit affiliate, said its confidence index rose to 66.1 in January from 63.4 in December.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook.
Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty