The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association on Wednesday, May 23, announced that its Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, which reports economic activity for the $628 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for April was $6.1 billion, up 20 percent from volume of $5.1 billion in the same period in 2011. Volume was down 10 percent from the previous month. Year-to-date cumulative new business volume is up 17 percent.
Receivables over 30 days decreased to 2.7 percent in April, down from 2.8 percent in March, and down by 18 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Charge-offs decreased to 0.6 percent, down from 0.7 percent the previous month, and down by 25 percent compared to the same period last year.
Credit approvals decreased to 76 percent in April from 78 percent in March, and 76 percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during April, up from 67 percent in March.
Total headcount for equipment finance companies in April increased 0.7 percent from the previous month, and was down 4.1 percent year over year. Supplemental data show that the construction and trucking industries continued to lead the underperforming sectors.
“April’s new business volume and credit quality metrics appear to provide evidence that the equipment finance sector continues to gain momentum,” said William Sutton, ELFA president and chief executive officer. “Recent anecdotal information from ELFA members gathering in Washington, D.C., for a series of leadership meetings in mid-May supports the observation that the demand cycle for capital equipment parallels the broader economy in that both continue to strengthen, albeit slowly.”