America's fastest growing companies are planning new investments -- but they aren't relying on bank loans. Instead, they're using cash flow financing -- while boosting flexibility by developing bank credit. So says PricewaterhouseCoopers' Trendsetter Barometer, which interviewed CEOs of 451 U.S. firms identified in the media as fastest-growing over the last five years. These companies are projecting a revenue gain of 25.7% for 1999. To support the growth, 55% are planning major new investments of capital. But only 23% report completing a new bank loan in the fourth quarter, unchanged from a year ago. "These are companies with extraordinary potential, and their CEOs are confident in the economy and their ability to finance much of their own growth," says James Atwell, PricewaterhouseCoopers global private equity leader. Only 36% are concerned about slack market demand derailing growth over the next year -- vs 43% a year ago, he says. For more on the survey contact Pete Collins at 212-259-4496 or [email protected].