WASHINGTON, Apr 23, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — 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 $ 903 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for March was $ 8.9 billion, up 25 percent from new business volume in March 2014. Volume was up 46 percent from $ 6.1 billion in February. Year to date, cumulative new business volume increased 17 percent compared to 2014.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.2 percent, up from 1.1 percent the previous month and from 1.0 percent the same period in 2014. Charge-offs were at an all-time low of 0.2 percent for the 13th consecutive month.

Credit approvals totaled 78.7 percent in March, up from 78.1 percent in February. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 3.9 percent year over year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for April is 70.7, an easing from the March index of 72.1, which was the highest level in four years.

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE ,said: “Equipment finance companies in many industry sectors are reporting a robust first quarter of the year. The March new business volume is indicative of strong capital spending, influenced by businesses taking advantage of continued low interest rates, perhaps in anticipation of reported tightening of monetary policy by the Fed. Credit quality metrics are mixed, with delinquencies edging upward counterbalanced by monthly losses remaining at historic lows.”

Bradley R. Brolsma, President, Merchants Capital Resources, Inc. ,said, “While there is a general sense within our industry that deal flow is not where it could be, the 17 percent growth in first quarter new business certainly doesn’t seem to bear that out. Clearly, industry numbers are outpacing 2015 expectations of a 4 to 5 percent increase in annual expenditures for equipment and software and that’s nothing but good news for our industry. That said, the rather dismal global economic numbers still point to the need for cautiousness in assessments of overall credit conditions going forward. The marketplace doesn’t need any bad news or surprises right now.”

About the ELFA’s MLFI-25

The MLFI-25 is the only index that reflects capex—the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S.—and is released as a complementary economic indicator the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report.

To read a detailed description and methodology of the MLFI-25, visit http://www.elfaonline.org/Research/MLFI

About the ELFA

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $ 903 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 www.elfaonline.org.

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Twitter: @ELFAonline
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SOURCE: Equipment Leasing and Finance Association

Amy Vogt, Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Copyright Business Wire 2015

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