Volume was up 3% month-to-month from $8.8 billion in April. Year to date, cumulative new business volume was flat compared to 2018.
Receivables over 30 days were 1.70%, up from 1.50% the previous month and up from 1.60% the same period in 2018. Charge-offs were 0.46%, up from 0.32% the previous month, and up from 0.31% in the year-earlier period.
Credit approvals totaled 75.9%, down from 76.8% in April. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 2.0% year-over-year.
Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in June is 52.8, down from the May index of 59.2.
ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “Responding ELFA members enjoyed a strong May, with new business volume growth trending upward. The continued low interest rate environment coupled with solid fundamentals in the U.S. economy provide incentive for U.S. businesses to expand and grow their operations. As they do so, productive equipment becomes a critical component in serving their customers and enabling them to achieve success in the marketplace. However, at the same time, we notice a slight deterioration in credit quality, which bears monitoring. Recently, the Fed and other analysts raised concerns over potential storm clouds on the economic horizon. These warnings also bear close attention in the weeks and months ahead.”
“Overall growth in new business volume demonstrates continued forward momentum in the economy. Advancement in technologies across most industry verticals will likely influence a positive trend in equipment investment in the coming months,” said Daniel Krajewski, president and CEO, Sertant Capital. “The decline in credit quality, however, is a factor worth monitoring. This could be an early indicator of a hardening market, which may force funding sources to be more selective with their credit profiling. The increase in receivables and charge-offs coupled with the decline in employee headcount is also interesting to note. Companies may be protecting current capital reserves ahead of potential effects from the recent tariffs imposed on U.S. goods.”
The ELFA MLFI-25 reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $1 trillion equipment finance sector.
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