Overall new business volume for the $827 billion equipment finance sector in January was $6 billion. That’s up 2 percent from new business volume in January 2013 but down 44 percent from December, following the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index. This index reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of this sector.
Receivables over 30 days were at 1.8 percent in January, down slightly from 1.9 percent in December. Delinquencies were unchanged from the same period in 2013. Charge-offs were unchanged from the previous two months at the all-time low of 0.3 percent.
Credit approvals totaled 76.9 percent in January, a decrease from 78.3 percent the previous month. Fifty-four percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during January, a decrease from 57 percent December.
Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 0.7 percent year over year.
ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: “At the start of the new year, equipment finance activity picked up where it left off for most of 2013. New business volume shows modest, incremental growth while credit losses continue at historic lows. With fiscal pressures in Washington subsiding, at least for the time being, and most major U.S. economic indicators showing positive signs, we are hopeful that these factors will help promote a favorable climate for continued investment by U.S. businesses in capital equipment in 2014 and beyond.”
Martha Ahlers, VP/COO, United Leasing, Inc., said, “The Monthly Confidence Index results for the last two reported periods provide continued optimism for the year ahead. Beginning 2014 with a 63.3 MCI, the 2nd highest mark in the last 24 months, is also extremely promising and serves as evidence of stability and positive velocity within our industry. In the Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, origination volumes year-over-year are also up, while maintaining historically low delinquency and charge-offs; an indication of continued health. The combination of these positive indicators creates a huge amount of excitement for potential growth.”