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Data from the French Finance Association (ASF) has revealed equipment asset finance new business grew by 9.3% to €6.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

The rise continues the trend for growth after an 8.8% increase in Q4 last year and a rise of 7.4% in Q3 2017.

The increase in business demand for funding marks a key milestone for the equipment finance market, as total lending volume reached €28.3 billion at the end of March 2018, 11.6% higher than the total market before the financial crisis in 2008.

Hire purchase new business rose 8% to €3.8 billion in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, while leasing rose nearly 11% to €3.1 billion.

Factoring showed strong growth, with a 9% rise in receivables financed to nearly €73 billion. Total receivables stood at €296.6 billion at the end of Q2 2018.

Consumer finance was up 3.5% year-on-year in the first quarter to €10.2 billion.

Françoise Palle-Guillabert, general delegate of the ASF, is cautious over the continued growth in the market.

She said: “The cycles of growth tend to stabilise or even slow down. In addition, for certain sectors such as leasing real estate, recovery is long overdue.

“A strong economy is essential to the continued growth of the finance market during 2018.”

France: equipment finance new business volume (€m)

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