The Equipment Leasing & Finance Association’s Survey of Economic Activity: Monthly Leasing and Finance Index23 May, 2013
Washington, DC, May 23, 2013— 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 $725 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for April was $7.5 billion, up 23 percent compared to volume in April 2012. Month-over-month, new business volume was up 10 percent from March. Year to date, cumulative new business volume was up eight percent compared to 2012.
Receivables over 30 days were unchanged in April from the previous two months at 2.0 percent. They were down from 2.7 percent in the same period in 2012. Charge-offs were unchanged from March at the all-time low of 0.3 percent.
Credit approvals totaled 77.2 percent in April, down from 78.4 percent in March. Seventy-two percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during April, up 50 percent from the previous month.
Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies was up three percent from the previous month, and was unchanged year over year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for May is 56.7, an increase from the April index of 54.0, reflecting industry participants’ increasing optimism despite continuing concerns over the economy and the impact of federal policies on capital expenditures. .
ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: “Both performance indices—the MCI as an indicator of future optimism about the direction of the U.S. economy, and the MLFI-25’s growth trend in new business activity—provide solid evidence that the demand side of the capital investment equation continues to pick up as the broader economy strengthens. It is our hope that this trend pushes into the second half of the year.”
Paul J. Menzel, President and CEO, Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC, said: “Over the last four years businesses of all sizes have pursued a defensive strategy of austerity by right sizing their balance sheets, maximizing operating efficiencies, and optimizing cash flow, all while top line revenue growth has remained weak. This has kept many borrowers and lessees on the sidelines despite historically low rates. The anemic revenue story may be coming to an end as businesses seem to be going on the offensive and investing for growth, as this month’s MLFI data reflects.”
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/
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.
ELFA MLFI-25 Participants:
BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BMO Harris Equipment Finance
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
Direct Capital Corporation
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance
First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank Company
GreatAmerica Financial Services
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
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 $725 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 more than 575 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 http://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.