ELFA - Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equipping Business for Success

Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Survey of Economic Activity: Monthly Leasing and Finance Index

Posted 01/25/2023

December New Business Volume Up 9 Percent Year-over-year,
50 Percent Month-to-month, 6 Percent at Year-end

Washington, DC, January 25, 2023—The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for December was $12.9 billion, up 9 percent year-over-year from new business volume in December 2021. Volume was up 50 percent from $8.6 billion in November in a typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike. Cumulative new business volume for 2022 was up 6 percent compared to 2021.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.8 percent, up from 1.7 percent the previous month and down from 2.0 percent in the same period in 2021. Charge-offs were 0.26 percent, down from 0.27 percent the previous month and up from 0.25 percent in the year-earlier period.

Credit approvals totaled 76.6 percent, down from 77.7 percent in November. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 7.6 percent year-over-year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in January is 48.5, an increase from the December index of 45.9.

ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “In one of the stronger December and Q4 end-of-year showings, new business volume in the association’s monthly index is another example of businesses across the United States relying on equipment financing to enable their operations to grow and expand.  This performance is especially impressive given the steady increase in short-term interest rates brought on by the Fed’s determination to bring down inflation and stabilize labor markets.”

Chris Lerma, President, AP Equipment Financing, said, “It was certainly a challenging year for lenders as they navigated through a rapidly rising rate environment, supply chain constraints, higher equipment costs and talk of an expected slowdown. Despite these challenges our industry as a whole fared well with healthy year-over-year increases in originations and stellar portfolio performance, but remains a bit cautious heading into 2023. Not knowing yet the full impact of the Fed's series of rapid rate increases on the economy, I believe many companies will start the year with more focus on credit quality and spreads versus origination volume.”

About ELFA’s MLFI-25
The MLFI-25 is the only near-real-time index that reflects capex, or the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S. The MLFI-25 is released globally at 8 a.m. Eastern time from Washington, D.C., each month on the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report. The MLFI-25 is a financial indicator that complements the durable goods report and other economic indexes, including the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Together with the MLFI-25 these reports provide a complete view of the status of productive assets in the U.S. economy: equipment produced, acquired and financed.

The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey. The latest MLFI-25, including methodology and participants, is available at www.elfaonline.org/knowledge-hub/mlfi-25-monthly-leasing-and-finance-index.

The MLFI-25 is part of the Knowledge Hub, the source for business intelligence in the equipment finance industry. Visit the hub at www.elfaonline.org/KnowledgeHub.

MLFI-25 Methodology
ELFA produces the MLFI-25 survey to help member organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research and benchmarking information to support strategic business decision making.

The MLFI-25 is a barometer of the trends in U.S. capital equipment investment. Five components are included in the survey: new business volume (originations), aging of receivables, charge-offs, credit approval ratios, (approved vs. submitted) and headcount for the equipment finance business.

The MLFI-25 measures monthly commercial equipment lease and loan activity as reported by participating ELFA member equipment finance companies representing a cross section of the equipment finance sector, including small ticket, middle-market, large ticket, bank, captive and independent leasing and finance companies. Based on hard survey data, the responses mirror the economic activity of the broader equipment finance sector and current business conditions nationally.

About ELFA
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its 580 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. ELFA has been equipping business for success for more than 60 years. For more information, please visit www.elfaonline.org.

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ELFA is the premier source for statistics and analyses concerning the equipment finance sector. Please visit www.elfaonline.org/knowledge-hub/knowledge-hub-home for additional information.


Amy Vogt, Vice President, Communications and Marketing, ELFA