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 $900 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for February was $7.4 billion, up 9% year-over-year from new business volume in February 2020.
Volume was down 9% month-to-month from $8.1 billion in January. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was down almost 4% compared to 2020.
Receivables over 30 days were 2.1%, down from 2.2% the previous month and up from 2.0% in the same period in 2020. Charge-offs were 0.55%, up from 0.47% the previous month and up from 0.51% in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 76.8%, up from 76.2% in January. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 4.2% year-over-year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in March is 67.7, an increase from the February index of 64.4, and the highest level since April 2018.
“February metrics show healthy new business growth compared to the same period pre-pandemic last year,” ELFA president and CEO Ralph Petta said. “As vaccine distribution picks up across the country, labor markets improve and interest rates remain low, the U.S. economy will only improve as we move into Q2. Business confidence is at an historic high as measured by our Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI). All this bodes well for business growth and expansion and the accompanying accelerating demand for productive equipment.”