U.S. business borrowing for equipment falls 1% in June – ELFA

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(Reuters) – U.S. companies borrowed 1% less in June to finance their investments in equipment compared with a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Monday.

The companies signed up for $10.3 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, compared with $10.4 billion a year earlier. However, borrowings rose 6% from January.

“Inflation continues to provide a headwind in an otherwise benign economy. The Fed has signaled its resolve to meet these inflationary pressures by steadily increasing short-term interest rates, without throwing cold water on our post-pandemic economic recovery,” ELFA Chief Executive Ralph Petta said in a statement.

ELFA, which reports economic activity for the nearly $1 trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 78.1%, up from 76.8% in May.

The Washington-based body’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, and financing affiliates or units of Caterpillar Inc, Dell Technologies Inc, Siemens AG, Canon Inc and Volvo AB.

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA’s non-profit affiliate, said its confidence index in July is 46.1%, a decrease from 50.9% in June. A reading above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)