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 March was $10.4 billion, down 2 percent year-over-year from new business volume in March 2022. Volume was up 32 percent from $7.9 billion in February. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was up 4 percent compared to 2022.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.9 percent, up from 1.8 percent the previous month and up from 1.5 percent in the same period in 2022. Charge-offs were 0.32 percent, unchanged from the previous month and up from 0.10 percent in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 75.3, down from 75.7 percent in February. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 4.6 percent year-over-year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in April is 47.0, a decrease from the March index of 50.3.
ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “While originations for the month are strong—in the face of a persistently high interest rate and inflationary environment—the metrics that bear monitoring deal with portfolio quality. Delinquencies and losses are up compared to the same period last year, indicating a potential softness in the economy that is making it more difficult for lessees to honor their lease and financing obligations.”
The MLFI-25 is the only near-real-time 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.