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 September was $9.2 billion, up 6 percent year-over-year from new business volume in September 2020. Volume was up 8 percent month-to-month from $9.9 billion in August. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was up 10 percent compared to 2020.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.6 percent, down from 1.8 percent the previous month and down from 2.0 percent in the same period in 2020. Charge-offs were 0.35 percent, up from 0.23 percent the previous month and down from 0.82 percent in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 76.3 percent, unchanged from August. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 14.0 percent year-over-year, a decrease due to significant downsizing at an MLFI reporting company.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in October is 61.1, an increase from the September index of 60.5.
ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “Originations in the equipment finance industry continue to tick up, with September new business volume showing good growth compared to the same period last year. Supply chain disruptions and inflation concerns continue, with the Fed poised to gradually ease its asset purchases in the near term. For now, liquidity is abundant and businesses are acquiring the productive equipment necessary to respond to customer demand in a variety of market sectors. Portfolio quality is mixed, however, with lower delinquencies offset by slightly higher charge offs for the 25 responding MLFI participants.”
Robert L. Boyer, President, First Commonwealth Equipment Finance, said, “The September MLFI data display encouraging signs of improvement for the industry with new business volume increasing and delinquency decreasing from August. Losses are trending higher but remain in a range below what we saw in comparable, pre-pandemic periods. Looking forward, it seems this is a story of tailwinds and headwinds. A slight increase in the Foundation's October Monthly Confidence Index, reduced levels of COVID-19 cases from the late summer peak and increasing demand are indications that things will continue to improve. On the other hand, supply chain disruption, significant increases in equipment prices and low worker supply continue to hamper expansion in major industry sectors our industry serves. This should really make for an interesting fourth quarter.”
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