Nov 22 (Reuters) - U.S. companies' borrowing to spend on capital investment was unchanged in October, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) said.
Companies signed up for $7.6 billion in new loans, leases and lines of credit last month, unchanged from a year earlier. Their borrowing fell 1 percent from September.
"We remain cautiously optimistic that business demand for capital equipment will continue unabated into the fourth quarter, which is a typically strong period for the industry," ELFA Chief Executive William Sutton said in a statement.
Washington-based ELFA, a trade association that reports economic activity for the $827 billion equipment finance sector, said credit approvals totaled 77.6 percent in October, up slightly from 77.3 percent in September.
ELFA's leasing and finance index measures the volume of commercial equipment financed in the United States. It is designed to complement the U.S. Commerce Department's durable goods orders report, which it typically precedes by a few days.
ELFA's index is based on a survey of 25 members that include Bank of America Corp, BB&T Corp, CIT Group Inc and the financing affiliates or subsidiaries of Caterpillar Inc, Deere & Co, Verizon Communications Inc, Siemens AG, Canon Inc and Volvo AB.
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, ELFA's non-profit affiliate, said its confidence index rose to 56.9 in November from 54.0 in October.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive outlook.