petta ralph 400

New business volume in the US equipment finance industry was up at the start of the year, hitting $7.2 billion in January, latest figures from the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) show.

The rise is a 4% year-over-year increase compared to new business volume in January 2018.

ELFA’s monthly leasing and finance index (MLFI-25), based on a survey of a range of industry players, showed overall volume among its respondents was down 43% month-to-month from $12.7 billion in December, following the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.7%, unchanged from the previous month and down from 1.9% the same period in 2018. Charge-offs were 0.35%, down from 0.55% the previous month, and virtually unchanged from the year-earlier period.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s monthly confidence index (MCI-EFI) in February is 56.7, up from the January index of 53.4.

Ralph Petta, ELFA president and CEO, said, “2019 gets off to a strong start in the equipment finance industry, with new business volume increasing 4% over the same period last year. Credit quality is stable. Business owners continue to expand their operations and acquire productive assets, even as interest rates edge up ever so slightly, with the Fed signaling a cautious wait-and-see posture for additional interest rate hikes this year.”