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 December was $12.8 billion, up 6% year-over-year from new business volume in December 2016. Volume was up 71% month-to-month from $7.5 billion in November in a typical end-of-year spike. Cumulative new business volume for 2017 was up 5% from 2016.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.50%, unchanged from the previous month and up from 1.40% the same period in 2016. Charge-offs were 0.48%, up from 0.42% the previous month, and up from 0.42% in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 77.6% in December, up from 73.6% in November. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 15.1% year over year, largely attributable to continued acquisition activity at an MLFI reporting company.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in January is at an all-time high of 75.3, up from 69.4 in December.
ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta says, “December new business volume registered the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike as member companies scrambled to close out the year. While 2017 was a good year, overall, for the equipment finance industry, most industry observers look for even stronger business activity in 2018. The reasons for this optimistic outlook? A continued healthy and growing economy, an abundance of liquidity, strong capex demand buoyed by recent tax law changes and a sense of confidence by the business community not seen since just after the 2016 election. Absent a wild card event or external shock of some sort, we are bullish about 2018.”
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