Leasing and Finance Index up 10% year-over-year, up 36% over February

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The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, which reports economic activity for the $628 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for March was $6.8 billion, up 10 percent from volume of $6.2 billion in the same period in 2011. Volume was up 36 percent from the previous month. Year-to-date cumulative new business volume is up 17 percent.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index for April is 62.1, up slightly from the March index of 61.7, and the fourth consecutive month of increases, indicating industry participants’ optimism is slowly but steadily rising.

“Growth in new business volume appears to be easing somewhat as we head into the summer months,” said William Sutton, ELFA president and chief executive officer. “Increases in originations of the magnitude we have experienced during the past two to three years in a recovery mode are probably not sustainable. Nevertheless, a 10 percent rate of growth for the period continues a positive trend by businesses to make investments in productive assets. Credit quality metrics appear to be stabilizing, returning to pre-recession levels.”