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US business equipment borrowings up 4% in February, ELFA says

FILE PHOTO: The Manhattan skyline is pictured from the Summit at One Vanderbilt observatory in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., April 14, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

(Reuters) – U.S. companies borrowed 4% more to finance equipment investments in February 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 $7.9 billion in February, down 15% from a month ago.

“Credit quality, while still elevated year over year, showed improvement with delinquencies slowly returning to normal levels and charge-offs moving in a positive direction,” ELFA CEO Leigh Lytle said.

The Washington-based company, which reports economic activity for over $1-trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals for U.S. companies in February came in at 76%, unchanged from the preceding month.

Its non-profit affiliate, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, said its confidence index for March stood at 55.2, up from 51.7 for February and was at its highest level since April 2022. 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 (NYSE:CAT), Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), Siemens AG (OTC:SIEGY), Canon Inc and Volvo AB (OTC:VLVLY).


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