U.S. business borrowing for equipment falls 9% in October: ELFA

(Reuters) - U.S. companies’ borrowings for capital investments fell 9% in October from a year earlier, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said on Friday.

The companies signed up for $9.2 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month. Borrowings in October rose 6% from the previous month.

“The equipment finance industry shows resilience in the face of a worsening health pandemic and uneven economic performance in the U.S,” ELFA Chief Executive Officer Ralph Petta said.

“Hopefully, this struggle to get back to a sense of normalcy will not be overtaken by a double dip recession caused by worsening COVID-19 outbreaks reported in some states around the nation.”

Washington-based ELFA, which reports economic activity for the nearly $1-trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals fell to 72.3% in October from 72.9% in September.

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 56.1 in November, up from the October reading of 55.

A reading of above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel