(Reuters) - Borrowing by U.S. companies to spend on capital investment rose in June, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.
Companies signed up for $10 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up 3 percent from the same month a year earlier, said ELFA, a Washington-based trade group that reports economic activity for the $1 trillion equipment finance sector.
From January to June, cumulative new business volume decreased 7 percent from the same period a year earlier, ELFA said.
June's loan originations were the largest since 2015-end but volume for January-June has fallen from the same period last year, ELFA Chief Executive Ralph Petta said in a statement on Monday.
The uneven performance reflects continued slow economic growth and volatile equity markets in the United States, and "troubling international events" that are leading businesses to be cautious about capital investment decisions, Petta said.
Credit approvals totaled 78.1 percent in June, up from 76.5 percent in May, ELFA said.
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 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 and Volvo AB.
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA's non-profit affiliate, said its confidence index is 52.5 for July, steady with June's index of 52.3.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook.
(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)