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 February was $5.9 billion, down 24 percent year-over-year from new business volume in February 2018. Volume was down 18 percent month-to-month from $7.2 billion in January. Year to date, cumulative new business volume was down 10 percent compared to 2018.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.80 percent, up from 1.70 the previous month and up from 1.60 percent the same period in 2018. Charge-offs were 0.35 percent, unchanged from the previous month, and up from 0.28 percent in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 76.0, virtually unchanged from January. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 0.2 percent 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.”