Compiled By Deborah Austin New borrowing by the fastest growing companies has hit a historic low, but those still borrowing are outpacing their peers in growth rates, suggests professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York, in its latest Trendsetter Barometer survey of fast-growth companies. During the second quarter of 2002, only 13% of 411 fast-growth firms surveyed reported new financing. That's eight points down from the previous quarter and the lowest in the Trendsetter Barometer's 11-year history -- despite modest bank interest rates. Banks' apparent tightening of lending processes may help explain the trend, says PricewaterhouseCoopers. Additionally, the federal government's temporary accelerated depreciation allowances for post-Sept. 11 recovery may have enabled more capital-projects expenditures from internally generated funds rather than external financing. Surveyed companies that did complete new financing during the quarter averaged faster five-year growth rates than those that did not: 1,847% versus 1,414%. And 50% of the borrowers are planning major new business-growth investments over the next year -- versus 37% of non-borrowers. The surveyed firms had annual revenues of $5 million to $100 million.