The equipment finance industry began to regain volume in 2010, according to the 2011 Survey of Equipment Finance Activity (SEFA) released by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. The survey reported an overall 3.9% increase in volume in 2010, compared to a significant 30.3% decline reported in 2009 and a 2.2% decline reported in 2008.
Key findings for 2010 as reported in the 2011 SEFA include:
- New business volume varied by respondent. Although total new business volume increased by a moderate 3.9%, just under half of the survey respondents experienced an increase in volume between 2009 and 2010.
- From an asset perspective, agriculture, trucks and trailers, and medical imaging/ electronic devices saw increases in new business volume, while construction, energy and printing saw decreases. The categories with the biggest increases in new business volume were state and local government; mining/oil and gas extraction; federal government; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and arts/entertainment/recreation.
- There were continued signs of improved business conditions. In 2010, cost of funds continued to drop for the third year, and though pre-tax spreads declined in 2010 compared to 2009, they were stronger than spreads were between 2005 and 2008. While overall headcount decreased, employment did grow in the business development, credit approval and syndication areas, while positions in the account services area declined. Efforts in asset remarketing are also a focus, with sharp increases in staffing levels.