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 $1 trillion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for December was $12.7 billion, down 1 percent year-over-year from new business volume in December 2017. Volume was up 59 percent month-to-month from $8.0 billion in November in a typical end-of-year spike. Cumulative new business volume for 2018 was up 4 percent from 2017.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.70 percent, up from 1.60 the previous month and up from 1.50 percent the same period in 2017. Charge-offs were 0.55 percent, up from 0.37 percent the previous month, and up from 0.48 in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 77.9 percent in December, up from 77.2 percent in November. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 0.1 percent year over year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in January is 53.4, down from the December index of 55.5.
“December new business volume capped off a very good year for the equipment leasing and finance industry," says Ralph Petta, president and CEO of ELFA. "Solid demand, an abundant supply of funding in the credit markets, and quality portfolios all contributed to an extremely healthy equipment finance sector in 2018. Notably, MLFI-25 respondents indicated that credit approvals were at an all-time high in December, reflecting members’ willingness to provide the necessary financing to thousands of American businesses as they take advantage of a benign economy to acquire equipment to grow and expand their operations."