Asset finance new business, primarily covering leasing and hire purchase, grew by 3% in August, new figures from the UK's Finance and Leasing Association show.
The plant and machinery finance sector reported new business up by 4% in August compared with the same month in 2016, while new finance for business equipment was up by 8% over the same period.
Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance industry has reported solid new business growth so far in 2017.
“Growth in asset finance provided to manufacturers has been particularly robust, with new business for production and processing plant up by more than 40% in the first eight months of 2017.”
FLA figures also show that consumer finance new business in August grew by 4% compared with the same month last year.
Credit card and personal loan new business together rose by 4% year-on-year, while retail store and online credit new business increased by 7%.
Kilkelly added: “The modest growth in consumer finance new business overall in August reflects subdued consumer confidence about the general economic outlook.”
This was also reflected in new business volumes in the point of sale (POS) consumer new car finance market, which fell by 8% in August, compared with the same month in 2016, although the value of new business was up by 2% over the same period.
The percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members through the POS held steady at 86% in the twelve months to August.
The POS consumer used car finance market reported new business in August up 8% by value and 2% by volume, compared with the same month last year.
Kilkelly said: “The August figures reported by the POS consumer new car finance market are in line with wider trends in private new car sales. These trends are not unexpected given the strength of the market in recent years and subdued consumer confidence about the general economic outlook.
“New business volumes in the POS consumer car finance market overall were stable in the first eight months of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.”