U.S. business borrowing for equipment rises 6% in September – ELFA

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A worker clears a machine jam inside of an Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey

– U.S. companies increased their borrowings for capital investments in September by 6% compared with a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Monday.

The companies signed up for $9.2 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up from $8.7 billion a year earlier. Borrowings rose 8% from August.

“Supply chain disruptions and inflation concerns continue, with the Fed poised to gradually ease its asset purchases in the near term,” ELFA Chief Executive Officer Ralph Petta said in a statement.

“For now, liquidity is abundant and businesses are acquiring the productive equipment necessary to respond to customer demand in a variety of market sectors,” he said.

Washington-based ELFA, which reports economic activity for the nearly $1-trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 76.3%, unchanged from August.

ELFA’s leasing and finance index measures the volume of commercial equipment financed in the United States.

The index is based on a survey of 25 members, including Bank of America 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 and Finance Foundation, ELFA’s non-profit affiliate, reported a monthly confidence of 61.1% in October, up from 60.5% in September in their index. A reading above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)