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 $1 trillion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for May was $6.8 billion, down 7 percent year-over-year from new business volume in May 2015. Volume was down 7 percent month-to-month from $7.3 billion in April. Year to date, cumulative new business volume decreased 9 percent compared to 2015.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.3 percent, an increase from the previous month and up from 1.09 percent in the same period in 2015. Charge-offs were 0.33 percent, up slightly from 0.31 percent the previous month.
Credit approvals totaled 76.5 percent in May, down from 78.2 percent in April. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 4.3 percent year over year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for June is 52.3, a decrease from the May index of 55.1.
ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “Second quarter originations continue to move slightly lower, as a number of factors inhibit a more robust capex environment. Erosion in business confidence due to misgivings about the November presidential and congressional elections and what they portend for the future direction of the nation, an unexpectedly negative May unemployment report, an economy barely growing, and a series of violent events both here and abroad provide a negative backdrop for business owners considering making capital investment decisions. In addition, as monthly losses and delinquencies continue to tick upward off their historic lows, equipment finance companies appear to be tightening their credit standards. We will be carefully monitoring these and other data points during the coming summer months.”
William Stephenson, CEO and chairman of the Executive Board, DLL and ELFA chairman of the Board, said, “Despite some slowing in our U.S. commercial activity between April and May, DLL has continued to see modest growth in new business volumes on a year-over-year basis. This growth has been realized across most of our business lines, but certain sectors with more direct sensitivity to commodities have fared less well. Consistent with the ELFA’s data, we have experienced a very small uptick in U.S. market delinquency and charge-offs this past month. As we look ahead, mid-term growth prospects for the industry remain in question as headwinds abound. A weak U.S. jobs report, low productivity gains and continued uncertainty in global markets were sufficient enough for the Fed to take pause this past week.”