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New Business in Equipment Leasing and Financing Down 24% in February


April 5, 2019 - The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25) shows that surveyed members’ overall new business volume for February was $5.9 billion, down 24% from new business volume in February 2018. Volume was down 18% month-to-month from $7.2 billion in January. Year to date, new business volume was down 10% compared to 2018. 

Receivables over 30 days were 1.80%, up from 1.70% the previous month and up from 1.60% in the same period of 2018. Charge-offs were 0.35%, unchanged from the previous month, and up from 0.28% a year earlier. 

Credit approvals totaled 76.0, virtually unchanged from January. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 0.2% year-over-year. 

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in March is 60.4, up from the February index of 56.7. 

ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “Monthly new business volume declined for the first time in almost two years. Total cumulative year-to-date volume is in red numbers as well. Credit quality continues mixed. Fundamentals in the U.S. economy appear to be holding up, although February jobs data were far below what most observers expected. With the Fed holding interest rates unchanged, these and other economic data bear monitoring in the coming months to better understand the dip in equipment financing volume for February.” 

Melinda Haynes, President of Lease Operations, Onset Financial, Inc., said, “We remain optimistic about 2019 being a growth year for the equipment leasing industry despite the decline in business volume for the first two months of the year. Onset Financial has had a record-breaking first quarter and continues to see a surge in future business. The need for capital and good partners exists in any economy and Onset has benefitted from a strong multi-media presence, diverse funding relationships and advances in our internal systems.” 

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 United States. 

The MLFI-25 is released globally at 8 a.m. Eastern time 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 www.elfaonline.org/Data/MLFI/. 

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