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, shows their overall new business volume for April was $8.8 billion, up 11 percent year-over-year from new business volume in April 2018. Volume was up 7 percent month-to-month from $8.2 billion in March. Year to date, cumulative new business volume was down 5 percent compared to 2018.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.50 percent, down from 1.90 percent the previous month and down from 2.40 percent the same period in 2018. Charge-offs were 0.32 percent, down from 0.37 percent the previous month, and up slightly from 0.30 percent in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 76.8 percent, up from 75.3 percent from March. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 0.3 percent year-over-year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in May is 59.2, up from the April index of 58.3.
“Second quarter new business volume starts off strongly," says ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. "Continued low interest rates, a strong labor market and solid economic fundamentals all contribute to healthy demand by U.S. businesses—both large and small—for financed assets to run their business operations. Historically elevated credit quality also remains a signature feature of financing transactions conducted by ELFA members.”
“The MLFI shows a strong improvement over last year and a large jump from March, but this followed lackluster growth in Q1 otherwise," notes Jennifer A. Coyle, executive director of Macquarie Group Ltd. "Confidence rose slightly, and the economy felt more stable. However, going into May with the looming trade war and rippling effects into various sectors in the economy, we expect that companies will defer asset acquisitions until stability returns. Overall economic conditions and low interest rates should provide some cushion.”