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ELFA: December New Business Volume Up 20 Percent Year-Over-Year


The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity for the $628 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for December was $10.8 billion, up 20 percent from volume of $9.0 billion in the same period in 2010. Volume was up 74 percent from the previous month. Cumulative new business volume for 2011 rose 25 percent over 2010.

Credit quality metrics remained relatively steady.  Receivables over 30 days rose slightly to 2.1 percent in December from 2.0 percent in November.  Charge-offs were unchanged at 0.7 percent for the third consecutive month.

Credit standards eased as the number of lease applications approved increased dramatically to 79.3 percent from 76.2 percent the previous month. 70.8 percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during December, up from 65.5 percent the previous month.

Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies in December was unchanged month to month and down 1.0 percent year over year. Supplemental data show that the construction and trucking industries again led the underperforming sectors.

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: "The dramatic surge in December new business volume is the result of several factors, which, when combined, form an almost ‘perfect storm' of unusually strong business activity. First, demand for the lease/finance product increased as businesses replenished their capital equipment stock. Related to this are reports from many ELFA member organizations of a highly competitive pricing environment. In addition, the pick-up in new business volume seems to support recent bank data that suggest that lenders are making more credit available to their commercial and consumer borrowers. Add to the mix a frenetic pace for end-of-quarter, end-of-year closings and the result is a very robust monthly performance."

David Schaefer, president, Orion First Financial, LLC, located in Gig Harbor, Wash., said, "Confidence is on the rise and businesses are beginning to replace aging equipment since they have been holding back over the previous few years. We remain optimistic that equipment replacement will continue but we aren't certain we have entered an expansion phase across all industries. The equipment leasing and finance industry continues to have access to capital and with rates low, we are well positioned to serve Main Street businesses as demand grows."  

About the ELFA's MLFI-25

The MLFI-25 is the only index that reflects capex, or the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S. The MLFI-25 is released globally at 9 a.m. Eastern time from Washington, D.C., each month, on the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report. The MLFI-25 is a financial indicator that complements the durable goods report and other economic indexes, including the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Together with the MLFI-25 these reports provide a complete view of the status of productive assets in the U.S. economy: equipment produced, acquired and financed.

The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey. The latest MLFI-25, including methodology and participants is available below and also at http://www.elfaonline.org/ind/research/MLFI/

MLFI-25 Methodology

The ELFA produces the MLFI-25 survey to help member organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research and benchmarking information to support strategic business decision making.

The MLFI-25 is a barometer of the trends in U.S. capital equipment investment. Five components are included in the survey: new business volume (originations), aging of receivables, charge-offs, credit approval ratios, (approved vs. submitted) and headcount for the equipment finance business.

The MLFI-25 measures monthly commercial equipment lease and loan activity as reported by participating ELFA member equipment finance companies representing a cross section of the equipment finance sector, including small ticket, middle-market, large ticket, bank, captive and independent leasing and finance companies. Based on hard survey data, the responses mirror the economic activity of the broader equipment finance sector and current business conditions nationally.

About the ELFA
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $628 billion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its over 600 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. ELFA has been equipping business for success for more than 50 years. For more information, please visit www.elfaonline.org.

ELFA is the premier source for statistics and analyses concerning the equipment finance sector. Please visit http://www.elfaonline.org/ind/research/ for additional information.

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is the non-profit affiliate to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, providing future-focused research to the equipment finance industry. For more information please visit the website at www.leasefoundation.org



Article Date: 2012-01-30
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors
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