Washington, DC - The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity for the $521-billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for May was $5.6 billion, up 30 percent from volume of $4.3 billion in the same period in 2010. Compared against April volume, May volume increased by 10 percent. Year to date, new business volume is up 27 percent over last year.
Credit quality continues to improve. Receivables over 30 days decreased 12 percent to 2.9 percent in May from 3.3 percent in April, and declined by 28 percent compared to the same period in 2010. Charge-offs remained unchanged at 0.8 percent in May from the previous month, and decreased by 51 percent from the same period in 2010.
Credit standards remained unchanged in May from the previous month at 76 percent. Sixty-eight percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during the month, an increase from 45 percent in April.
Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies in May decreased two percent and was down one percent year-over-year. Supplemental data shows that the construction and trucking sectors continued to lead the underperforming sectors.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for June is 52.6, down from the May index of 63.2, indicating industry concerns over the sputtering economic recovery and uncertainties regarding lease accounting changes. For more detailed information on the MCI-EFI visit www.LeaseFoundation.org.
ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: “Directionally, there is good news both in the amount of new business generated during the period and the rebound in credit quality. However, some industry sectors continue to lag, and an atmosphere of uncertainty prevails.” “New business volume improvements continue but in an uneven manner across different industries,” said Harry Kaplun, President, Frost Leasing, located in San Antonio, TX. “This lack of a uniform trend suggests some weakness in the overall recovery. If the recovery can be more universal, the current availability of capital and improving portfolio performance have the equipment finance industry well positioned to serve the future needs of U.S. industry.”