Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Survey of Economic Activity: Monthly Leasing and Finance Index

Posted 07/26/2021

June New Business Volume Up 17 Percent Year-over-year, 28 Percent Month-to-month, and Nearly 9 Percent Year-to-date

Washington, DC, July 26, 2021—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 June was $10.4 billion, up 17 percent year-over-year from new business volume in June 2020. Volume was up 28 percent month-to-month from $8.1 billion in May. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was up nearly 9 percent compared to 2020.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.8 percent, down from 1.9 percent the previous month and down from 2.6 percent in the same period in 2020. Charge-offs were 0.22 percent, down from 0.30 percent the previous month and down from 0.71 percent in the year-earlier period.

Credit approvals totaled 76.7 percent, down from 77.4 percent in May. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 13.8 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 July is 72.9, an increase from the June index of 71.3.

ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “If equipment finance new business volume at the end of Q2 is any indication, the second half of the year should be as strong as economists predict. Despite slower-than-desired vaccinations in certain parts of the U.S, consumer spending is accelerating, markets remain strong and unemployment continues to slowly abate, all of which are contributing to a strong economy. This portends well for the equipment finance sector as we move into the second half of 2021. Recent pronouncements from the Fed indicate that they are eyeing recent upticks in inflation warily, but interest rates should remain low—at least in the near- to medium-term.”

Mark Duncan, EVP and COO, Hitachi Capital America, said, “2021 continues to bring economic tailwinds as demand continues to outpace supply. The June MLFI illustrates similar conditions at Hitachi Capital America. Our transportation and commercial finance portfolios continue to perform well, with expectations to exceed FY 20-21. Future disruptions could be attributed to supply chain and labor issues, which may take additional time to resolve.”

About 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 at www.elfaonline.org/Data/MLFI/.

MLFI-25 Methodology
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.

About ELFA
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the nearly $1 trillion 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 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. In 2021, ELFA is celebrating 60 years of equipping business for success. For more information, please visit www.elfaonline.org.

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ELFA is the premier source for statistics and analyses concerning the equipment finance sector. Please visit www.elfaonline.org/Data/ for additional information.

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that propels the equipment finance sector—and its people—forward through industry-specific knowledge, intelligence, and programs that contribute to industry innovation, individual careers, and the overall betterment of the equipment leasing and finance industry. The Foundation is funded through charitable individual and corporate donations. Learn more at www.leasefoundation.org.

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Author
Amy Vogt, Vice President, Communications and Marketing, ELFA