(Reuters) – U.S. corporations borrowed 11 % a lot more in February than final year to finance gear investments, the Gear Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) stated on Wednesday.

“Constantly increasing brief-term interest prices and stubborn inflationary pressures do not seem to have dampened demand for productive gear from U.S. companies,” stated ELFA CEO Ralph Peta.

Firms signed $7.9 billion worth of new loans, leases and credit lines final month, compared with $7.1 billion a year earlier.

“We stay optimistic, but we are sensitive to credit top quality as financial situations are volatile,” stated Mark Gingold of Fleet Benefit, a heavy-duty leasing firm.

ELFA, which reports financial activity for the practically $1 trillion gear finance sector, stated loan approvals totaled 75.7%, up marginally from 75.1% in January.

Washington, D.C.-primarily based ELFA’s Leasing and Finance Index measures the volume of industrial gear financed in the United States.

The index is primarily based on a survey of 25 members, like Bank of America Corp and economic affiliates or units of Caterpillar Inc, Dell Technologies Inc, Siemens AG, Canon Inc and Volvo AB.

The Gear Leasing and Finance Foundation, ELFA’s nonprofit arm, stated its self-assurance index stood at 50.three in March, down from 51.eight in February. A reading above 50 indicates a constructive company outlook.

(Reporting by Pratyush Thakur in Bengaluru Editing by Shweta Agarwal)

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