(Reuters) – U.S. companies’ borrowings for capital investments fell about 13% in September from a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Thursday.
The companies signed up for $8.7 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, down from $10 billion a year earlier. Borrowings in September rose 24% from the previous month.
“Despite the drop in September year-over-year new business, a look at the data beginning with the advent of the pandemic in February shows that the industry, in general, is holding its own,” ELFA Chief Executive Officer Ralph Petta said.
“Anecdotal evidence from some ELFA member companies indicates they are enjoying a very strong year.”
Washington-based ELFA, which reports economic activity for the nearly $1-trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals rose to 72.9% in September from 71% in 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 <BAC.N>, CIT Group Inc <CIT.N> and the financing affiliates or units of Caterpillar Inc <CAT.N>, Dell Technologies Inc <DELL.N>, Siemens AG <SIEGn.DE>, Canon Inc and Volvo AB <VOLVb.ST>.
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation, ELFA’s non-profit affiliate, reported monthly confidence index of 55 in October, down from the September reading of 56.5.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.
(Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)