October 22, 2015 / 7:00 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. business borrowing for equipment falls in September-ELFA

Oct 22 (Reuters) - U.S. companies’ borrowing to spend on capital investment fell in September, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.

Companies signed up for $8.4 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, down 13 percent from the same month a year earlier.

Their borrowing rose 22 percent from August.

“While the U.S. economy slogs along, dragged down by low oil demand, an uneven labor market, a volatile equities market and troublesome signals from the Chinese economy, business expansion and demand for productive asset follows suit,” ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a statement.

Credit approvals totaled 80.5 percent in September, up from 79.3 percent in August, said ELFA, a Washington-based trade association that reports economic activity for the $903 billion 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 typically precedes by a few days.

ELFA’s 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 subsidiaries 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 fell to 58.7 in October from 61.1 in September.

A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook. (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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