Equipment Leasing Business Ponders Fiscal Cliff Uncertainty

October New Business Volume Up by 27 Percent Year-over-year, Down 7 Percent Month-to-month, Up 17 Percent Year-to-date.

Overall new business volume for the $628 billion equipment finance sector in October was $7.6 billion, up 27 percent from volume of $6.0 billion in the same period in 2011, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25). Volume was down 7 percent from the previous month. Year-to-date cumulative new business volume increased 17 percent.

 

Receivables over 30 days decreased for the fifth consecutive month to 1.7 percent, down from 1.8 percent in September and down 23 percent when compared to the same period in 2011. Charge-offs were down from the previous month at 0.4 percent, and down by 43 percent compared to the same period last year.

 

Credit approvals were unchanged in October at 79.5 percent.  Sixty-six percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during October, up from 54 percent the previous month.

 

Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 1 percent from the previous month, and declined 2 percent year over year.

 

“Lease financings continue to show modest growth overall, despite soft patches evident in certain equipment and end-user sectors recently,” said ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE. “With U.S. elections now behind us and recent indications by policy makers to find a solution to the ‘fiscal cliff,’ the cloud of uncertainty that has frozen the economy during the past 12 months may be lifting. We hope that the recent no-growth scenario gripping our nation’s economy will transition to a more normalized recovery that will cause businesses to feel more confident about their future and result in additional investment in capital equipment and job creation.”

Marc Paulhus, president, RBS Citizens Asset Finance, added “Our funded volume for 2012 is ahead of last year’s record pace and we are pleased to see continued strength in our credit quality, as delinquency rates and non-performing assets remain at all-time lows for our business. While the level of activity in the investment grade bond market has been a challenge, we are encouraged to see the increase in new business volume for 2012.”

 

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