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August 2017
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ELFA’s Survey of Economic Activity: June 2017 Leasing and Finance Index

The 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 June was $9.8 billion, down 2 percent year-over-year from new business volume in June 2016. Volume was up 27 percent month-to-month from $7.7 billion in May. Year to date, cumulative new business volume was up 5 percentcompared to 2016.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.30 percent, down from 1.40 percent the previous month and down from 1.40 percent in the same period in 2016. Charge-offs were 0.38 percent, down from 0.47 percent the previous month, and down from 0.65 percent in the year-earlier period.

Credit approvals totaled 75.9 percent in June, down from 77 percent in May. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 16.6 percent year over year, largely attributable to continued acquisition activity at an MLFI reporting company.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for July is 63.5, steady with the two previous months.

ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “Industry volume strengthened in the second quarter, building on strong capex investment in the prior quarter. Business owners are taking advantage of low interest rates, favorable employment data, an equity market that continues to defy gravity, and other solid fundamentals to replace aging assets and, in some cases, expand operations, requiring installation of new equipment. And, despite scattered reports of rising delinquencies and charge offs, credit markets continue to perform well. The wild card is whether markets will continue to grow despite gridlock in Washington, D.C., and other headwinds or eventually pull back as a result.”

David Gilmore, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales, John Deere Financial, said, “Customer confidence in our key market segments (agricultural and construction) showed signs of improvement through the second quarter. Stabilization of agricultural commodity prices and rationalization of previously high levels of excess used equipment allowed customers to invest in newer technology and selectively update their fleets. Rental utilization, a key indicator of U.S. construction market strength, is moving in a positive direction as construction investment in residential, commercial and institutional sectors offset slow oil/gas and government sector growth. Long-term clarity around trade and tax policy could solidify short-term positive market trends.” 
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