October Leasing and Finance Activity Up 6% from 2015, Down 3% Year to Date / Construction News

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25) (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for October was $8.2 billion, up 6% year-over-year, compared to October 2015.

Volume was down 13% month-to-month from $9.4 billion in September. Year to date, new business volume decreased 3% compared to 2015.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.40%, down from 1.50% the previous month and up from 1.0% in the same period in 2015. Charge-offs were 0.37%, down from 0.46% the previous month.

Credit approvals totaled 77.3% in October, up from 76.6% in September. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 2.7% year over year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for November is 54.6, a decrease from the October index of 56.0.
ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “The Monthly Leasing and Finance Index showed moderate growth in October new business volume data ahead of the November elections. The equipment finance sector continues to benefit from the Fed’s favorable monetary policy, keeping long-term interest rates low. A rate hike is expected when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets next in December, and we believe this development, together with the conclusion of the recent election cycle, will impact business investment decisions during the balance of the year. Lower delinquencies and write-offs are also positive signs as we move into the final couple months of 2016.”

Bill Mayer, Group Head of Equipment Finance, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, said, “Our core businesses have shown solid growth in new business year-over-year, and are in line with data at around 6%. Our portfolio metrics remain very strong with the energy sector being our only real area of concern, albeit small in scope. Other segments facing headwinds include rail, truck and trailer, and construction. We continue to make significant progress integrating the GE Capital businesses we acquired in 2016, which only add to our significant diversity of channels, industries, products/services, and geography. With the election behind us we are optimistic that our customers will begin to take advantage of their strong balance sheets to invest in new equipment to both expand their business as well as replace aging equipment.”