The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA www.elfaonline.org) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25 www.elfaonline.org/Research/MLFI), which reports economic activity for the $628 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for February was $5.0 billion, up 22% from volume of $4.1 billion in the same period in 2011. Volume was down two percent from the previous month. Year-to-date cumulative new business volume is up 22%.
Credit quality metrics were mixed. Receivables over 30 days increased to 2.5% in February, up from a two-year low of 1.9% in January, due to higher-than-normal delinquencies reported by one of the 25 companies responding to the survey. Charge-offs were unchanged from the previous month at 0.5%. Credit approvals rose to 79% in February up from 77% in January.
Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies in February remained unchanged from the previous month, and was down 3.0% year over year. Supplemental data show that the construction and trucking industries continued to lead the underperforming sectors.