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ELFA Survey of Economic Activity: New Business Volume in January Up 21 Percent Year-over-Year


January New Business Volume Up by 21 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 January was $5.1 billion, up 21 percent from volume of $4.2 billion in the same period in 2011. Volume was down 53 percent from December, following the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity.

Credit quality metrics continued to improve. Receivables over 30 days decreased to 1.9 percent in January from 2.1 percent in December. Charge-offs decreased to 0.5 percent from 0.7 percent in December.

Following an unusually high credit approval ratio in December, credit approvals returned to a more typical level of 77 percent in January. More than 71 percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during January, down from 77 percent in December.

Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies in January decreased 3.0 percent from December and was down 3.0 percent year-over-year. Supplemental data show that the construction and trucking industries continued to lead the underperforming sectors.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for www.LeaseFoundation.org:

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: "January's increase in new business volume returned to a more typical growth pattern following a very busy end-of-year for many leasing and finance companies. The continued strengthening in financing volume and trend toward healthier portfolios provide clear evidence that the equipment finance marketplace is in the midst of regaining some of the momentum lost during the Great Recession."

Daniel McCabe, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, John Deere Financial, located in Johnston, Iowa, said, "The Agriculture sector continues to operate at very high levels and equipment sales and financing are robust. The construction sector is recovering from a deep recession beginning with increases in the rental fleet portion of the industry. Adequate liquidity and favorable interest rates will support further expansion of the business."

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 8 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/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.

ADP Credit
BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
CIT
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance Company
First American Equipment Finance
GreatAmerica
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
M&T Bank
Marlin Leasing
Merchants Capital
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
Suntrust
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
Verizon Capital
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance


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 550 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/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: 2012-02-27
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors
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