US business equipment borrowings up 6% in January, ELFA says

By Thomson Reuters Feb 23, 2024 | 2:16 PM

(Reuters) – U.S. companies borrowed 6% more to finance equipment investments in January compared to a year ago, industry body Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Friday.

Companies signed up for new loans, leases and lines of credit worth $9.3 billion in January, down 26% sequentially.

“It’s especially encouraging to kick off in positive territory since equipment investment—the lifeblood of the equipment finance industry—is forecast to pick up in the second half of the year,” ELFA President and CEO Leigh Lytle said.

ELFA, which reports economic activity for over $1-trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals for U.S. companies in January came in at 76%, up from 75% the preceding month.

The Washington-based company’s non-profit affiliate, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, said its confidence index for February stood at 51.7, up from 48.6 for January. A reading above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.

ELFA’s leasing and finance index is based on a 25-member survey, including Bank of America and financing units of Caterpillar, Dell Technologies, Siemens AG, Canon Inc and Volvo AB.

(Reporting by Abhinav Parmar in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)