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 $1 trillion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for March was $10.4 billion, down 2% year-over-year from new business volume in March 2022. Volume was up 32% from $7.9 billion in February. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was up 4% compared to 2022.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.9%, up from 1.8% the previous month and up from 1.5% in the same period in 2022. Charge-offs were 0.32%, unchanged from the previous month and up from 0.10% in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 75.3, down from 75.7% in February. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 4.6% year-over-year. Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in April is 47.0, a decrease from the March index of 50.3.
“While originations for the month are strong—in the face of a persistently high interest rate and the inflationary environment—the metrics that bear monitoring deal with portfolio quality,” said Ralph Petta, president and chief executive officer, ELFA. “Delinquencies and losses are up compared to the same period last year, indicating a potential softness in the economy that is making it more difficult for lessees to honor their lease and financing obligations.”