In October, U.S. companies borrowed 8% less to finance equipment investments compared to the same month last year, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA). Some businesses reported feeling the impact of high interest rates. Despite sound economic metrics in the U.S., ELFA reports that there has been a slight increase in both losses and delinquencies among participants in the nearly $1-trillion equipment finance sector.
Credit approvals improved month-on-month, touching 76% in October, up from 73.6% in September. Meanwhile, U.S. companies signed up for $10.4 billion worth of new loans, leases and lines of credit in October, an increase from $9.7 billion a month ago, ELFA said.
Dennis Bolton, Head of North America Equipment Finance at Gordon Brothers, explained that these trends are consistent with the economic environment and market turmoil resulting from quantitative tightening, inflation, employment, and supply chain disruption. He added that some businesses are constrained by reports of a pull-back in bank lending at least in some sectors.
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s non-profit affiliate reported its confidence index stood at 42.8 in November, an increase from 40.1 in October. A reading above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.
Overall, while there have been some challenges for businesses operating in a higher interest rate environment with limited access to credit in certain sectors due to reports of bank lending pullbacks and supply chain disruptions