Petta ralph NEW PIC

New business volume in the equipment finance sector is up 6% cumulatively compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data from the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA).

Its monthly leasing and finance index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies, representing a cross-section of the sector, showed their overall new business volume for August was $7.8 billion, up 1% year-over-year compared to August 2016.

Volume was down 1% month-to-month from $7.9 billion in July, but for the year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was up 6% compared to 2016.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.5%, up from 1.4% the previous month and up from 1.3% in the same period in 2016.

Charge-offs were 0.44%, up from 0.35% the previous month, and flat with the same period last year. Credit approvals totaled 75.3% in August, down slightly from 76% in July.

Ralph Petta, ELFA president and CEO, said: “Despite Washington lawmakers’ inability—at least, thus far—to agree on necessary changes in tax and financial services policy, US business owners appear optimistic about the health of the economy, providing impetus for them to grow their businesses.

“In addition, we are seeing improvements in challenged energy sectors, and interest rates continue to be low by historical standards. With low unemployment, healthy consumer spending, and equities and fixed income markets at historic highs, the economy is in good shape. This bodes well for continued investment in equipment by businesses, both large and small.”