(Reuters) – U.S. companies borrowed 9% more in December to finance equipment investment than a year earlier, industry association Equipment Leasing and Finance (ELFA) said on Tuesday.
Companies signed $12.9 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up from $11.8 billion a year earlier, according to ELFA. Total borrowing increased by 6% compared to January 2022.
ELFA, which reports economic activity in the $1 trillion equipment financing industry, said loan approvals reached 76.6% in December, down from 77.7% in November.
“I still don’t know the full impact of the Fed’s series of rapid increases in the economy, I expect many companies will start the year with a greater focus on credit quality and input relative to the amount of collection,” said AP Facilities Financing President Chris Lerma. .
ELFA’s Leasing and Financing Index, based in Washington, measures the amount of commercial equipment financed in the United States.
The index is based on a survey of 25 members, including Bank of America Corp, and subsidiaries or financing units of Caterpillar Inc, Dell Technologies Inc, Siemens AG, Canon Inc and Volvo AB.
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA’s nonprofit arm, said its confidence index in January was 48.5, up from 45.9 in December. A reading above 50 indicates a good business outlook.