Fewer mid-sized companies expect to make additional investments in their businesses or seek more loans than a year ago, according to a survey in the United States by banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Only 35 percent of executives at the companies said they anticipate increasing capital spending in the next 12 months, down from 44 percent a year earlier, according to the survey released on Tuesday by the bank.
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It found that 16 percent said they will likely cut back on business investments, up from 13 percent who last year expected to retreat.
"The bulk of companies are taking a cautious approach to capital expenditures and accessing credit," the bank said.
(For survey: http://link.reuters.com/cex57t)
Fewer of the executives - 29 percent compared with 34 percent - expect to need more credit in the coming year for capital expenditures or working capital. About two-thirds of those with no plans for new financing said they would do without because their revenue was increasing. About one-fifth cited economic uncertainty as the reason.
Since the financial crisis, the banking industry has been struggling to find enough credit-worthy borrowers to keep lending revenue from shrinking as interest rates have declined.
Jim Glassman, a senior economist at the bank, said the results are consistent with the continuing reluctance of customers of all sizes to borrow. "Everybody is still in a cautious, don't-want-too-much-leverage mode," Glassman said.
The survey was taken in February and included executives from 943 companies with annual revenue between $20 million and $500 million.
(Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)