September New Business Volume Up 4% Percent Year-to-Date, Down 13% Year-over-Year

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $903 billion equipment finance sector, showed that overall new business volume for September was $8.4 billion, down 13% from new business volume in September 2014. Volume was up 22% from $6.9 billion in August. Year to date, cumulative new business volume increased 4% compared to 2014.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.1%, up from 0.99% the previous month and up from 0.97% in the same period in 2014. Charge-offs were 0.27%, up from 0.22% the previous month.

Credit approvals totaled 80.5% in September, up from 79.3% in August. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 5% year-over-year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index for October is 58.7, easing from the previous month’s index of 61.1.
 
“Cautious optimism continues as the watch word for MLFI-25 companies who report steady but slow growth for the month," said William Sutton, ELFA president and CEO. "While the U.S. economy slogs along, dragged down by low oil demand, an uneven labor market, a volatile equities market,and troublesome signals from the Chinese economy, business expansion and demand for productive asset follows suit. Portfolio quality was off, with delinquencies increasing ever so slightly and losses edging upward. Time will tell whether this is a trend to be concerned about or just another blip in the credit cycle.”

While industry new business volume is up 4 percent year to date, Michael DiCecco, president of Huntington Equipment Finance, said that September’s MLFI-25 reported decline in year-over-year new business volume reflects a precipitous decline in energy sector spending and the effect that fluctuations in global economic activity have on the amount of equipment financed in the United States.