(Reuters) – U.S. companies’ borrowing to spend on capital investments rose 9% in June from a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.
Companies signed up for $9.9 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up from $9.1 billion a year earlier. Borrowings rose 9% from the previous month.
ELFA Chief Executive Officer Ralph Petta said after a sluggish beginning to the year, second-quarter new business volume in the equipment finance sector shows a healthy gain.
“As we head into the summer months, the economy and credit markets continue to perform well,” Petta said, adding that demand for financed equipment was strong.
Washington-based ELFA, which reports economic activity for the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 77%, up from 75.9% in May.
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.
The 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 units 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 monthly confidence index in July is 57.9, up from the June index of 52.8.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook.
Reporting by Dominic Roshan K.L. in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber