Equipment Leasing and Finance Association Release on January New Business Volume Up by 16% Year-Over-Year
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $725 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for January was $5.9 billion, up 16% from volume of $5.1 billion in the same period in 2012. Volume was down 49% from December, following the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity.
Receivables over 30 days increased to 1.8% in January after hitting their lowest level in the last two years in December at 1.6%. They were down from 1.9% in the same period in 2012. Charge-offs were at an all-time low of 0.3%, down from 0.6% the previous month.
Credit approvals totaled 78.3% in January, down 0.3 % from December. Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 0.7% from the previous month, and increased 0.6% year over year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for February is 58.7, an increase from the January index of 54.2, reflecting industry participants’ increasing optimism despite a wary eye on economic conditions and government management of fiscal policies.
ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: “The year begins where 2012 left off – on a positive note – as new business volume continues to trend in a positive direction. A flurry of activity at the end of the year gave way to more moderate growth in January. MLFI-25 participants also indicate strong credit quality metrics as both losses and delinquencies improved over the year-earlier period. This good news belies an overhang of continued uncertainty that lingers in the marketplace, as policy makers in Washington continue to struggle with fiscal matters, which only serves as a damper to economic growth.”
Irv Rothman, president and CEO, HP Financial Services, Berkeley Heights, NJ, says, “We remain optimistic for industry growth as enterprise and government entities increasingly utilize leasing and financing offers to help keep pace with technology change. With rapidly evolving business and IT demands, we continue to see interest from customers for the flexibility leasing, financing and lifecycle asset management provides.”
About the ELFA’s MLFI-25
The MLFI-25 is the only index that reflects capex, or the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S. The MLFI-25 is released globally at 8am EST from Washington, D.C., each month on the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report. The MLFI-25 is a financial indicator that complements the durable goods report and other economic indexes, including the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Together with the MLFI-25 these reports provide a complete view of the status of productive assets in the U.S. economy: equipment produced, acquired, and financed.
The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey. The latest MLFI-25, including methodology and participants is available at http://www.elfaonline.org/Research/MLFI/