US business equipment borrowings fell 7% in March, ELFA says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 22, 2024 | 2:03 PM

(Reuters) – U.S. companies borrowed 7% less to finance equipment investments in March compared to a year ago, industry body Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Monday.

Companies signed up for new loans, leases and lines of credit worth $9.3 billion in March, up 18% sequentially.

“Equipment and software investment should pick up in the latter part of the year when the Fed is expected to begin its rate cuts,” ELFA President and CEO Leigh Lytle said.

ELFA, which reports economic activity for the over $1 trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals for U.S. companies in January came in at 77%, up from 76% a month earlier.

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.

The Washington-based organisation’s non-profit affiliate, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, said its confidence index for April stood at 52.9, down from 55.2 in March. A reading above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.

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