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.
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)