Equipment Leasing Sees Anemic Growth

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) just released the annual Survey of Equipment Finance Activity (SEFA) showing an overall 3.9% increase in volume in 2010 after a significant 30.3% decline reported in 2009 and a 2.2% decline reported in 2008.

The SEFA, which is based on responses from 108 ELFA member companies, covers key statistical, financial and operations information for the $521 billion equipment finance industry. Although total new business volume increased by a moderate 3.9%, just under half of the survey respondents experienced an increase in volume between 2009 and 2010.

Captive equipment finance organizations saw the strongest increase in new business volume (11.3%). Independents saw their volume grow by 5.2%, reversing their significant 46.3% decrease in volume reported in the 2010 SEFA. Banks saw a slight decline (0.9%) in volume.

By business sector, new business volume reported by ELFA member companies offering equipment financing for industrial/manufacturing decreased slightly from 3.2% in 2009 to 3.1% in 2010. Materials handling equipment also decreased slightly from 2.1% in 2009 to 2.0% in 2010.

From an asset perspective, agriculture, trucks and trailers, and medical imaging/ electronic devices saw increases in new business volume, while construction, energy and printing saw decreases. The categories with the biggest increases in new business volume were state and local government; mining/oil and gas extraction; federal government; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and arts/entertainment/recreation.

“Through 2010, the equipment finance industry showed gradual but steady growth,” said William G. Sutton, ELFA President and CEO. “Although uncertainty about the broader economy continues, more recent data collected in the first two quarters of 2011 suggests the trend toward an improved equipment finance industry is continuing.”

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