According to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), overall new business volume for March was $10.6 billion, up 14% year over year from new business volume in March 2021. Volume was up 49% month to month from $7.1 billion in February. Year-to-date cumulative new business volume was up 5% compared with 2021.
Receivables more than 30 days were 1.5%, down from 1.7% in February and down from 1.9% in the same period in 2021. Charge-offs were 0.1%, up from 0.09% in February and down from 0.43% in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 78.3%, up from 78.2% in February. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was flat year over year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in April is 56.1, a decrease from 58.2 in March.
“MLFI-25 participants end the first quarter of the year very favorably: New business volume continues to surge and portfolios are performing extremely well,” Ralph Petta, president and CEO of the ELFA, said. “This, while inflationary pressures, the war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions continue unabated. With the Fed increasing short-term borrowing rates now and into the foreseeable future, business owners — both large and small — are choosing to lease and finance their critical equipment needs.”
“Strong performance in the ELFA survey — for both month-over-month and year-over-year results — highlights the continued strength of the economy and the appetite of the business community for equipment financing to drive their growth,” Mike Jones, president of CIT Business Capital, a division of First Citizens Bank, said. “These positive results come even as ongoing supply chain issues delay some deliveries. Overall, the results are very encouraging for the balance of 2022, as end-customers show their determination to compete by investing in the latest equipment to power their businesses forward.”