Equipment Leasing and Financing Association (ELFA), a trade group, reported on Friday that US businesses borrowed 6% more money in January to finance equipment investments than they had a year earlier.
ELFA Chief Executive Ralph Petta stated that “business demand for equipment financing continues uninterrupted despite uncertain and conflicting economic signals” such as inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, a hot labour market, and diminishing supply chain disruptions.
Last month, businesses took out $8.8 billion worth of new loans, leases, and lines of credit, compared to $8.3 billion a year earlier.
New business volume, however, was down 32% month-on-month after the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity.
ELFA, which reports economic activity for the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals were 75.1%, down from 76.6% in December.
The amount of commercial equipment funded in the United States is tracked by the leasing and finance index from the Washington-based ELFA.
The index is determined by a survey of 25 participants, including finance affiliates or units of Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT), Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), Siemens AG (OTC:SIEGY), Canon Inc, and Volvo AB (OTC:VLVLY).
The Equipment Leasing & Financing Foundation, ELFA’s nonprofit affiliate, said that in February, its confidence score increased to 51.8 from 48.5 in January. Positive business prospects are indicated by a number higher than 50.