Companies took out $6.8 billion in loans, leases and lines of credit last month, up 10% compared with March 2011 and 36% compared with February's $5 billion, ELFA reported. Much of the activity came from companies replacing aging equipment rather than investing for expansion, the association said. Business borrowing likely will temper without significant economic growth, President and CEO William G. Sutton said. "The one thing that would stimulate capital expenditure and business borrowing would be a heat-up of the economy, and right now all of these different headwinds are flying right in the face of a high rate of growth," Sutton said.

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