Equipment market stays healthy in October

Trade association survey shows financing activity stayed brisk into the fall.

November 25, 2021

The Washington-based Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) says its most recent survey indicates financing activity in the heavy equipment sector stayed brisk this October and in 2021 remains ahead of last year’s pace.

ELFA says its Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross-section of the $900 billion equipment finance sector, showed new business volume for October was $10.7 billion, up 16 percent year over year from new business volume in October 2020. Volume also was up 16 percent month to month from $9.2 billion in financing this September.

Year to date, says ELFA, cumulative new business volume is up 10 percent compared with 2020. Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in November is 64.6, an increase from the October index of 61.1.

“The equipment finance industry heads into the final quarter of the year in fine shape, judging from October MLFI data,” comments ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. “New business volume shows double-digit growth, [and] with the recent signing of major infrastructure legislation coming out of Washington, the future for capital investment looks bright, indeed.”

William C. Perry III, president of Alabama-based Regions Equipment Finance Corp., says, “Trends reported in the October MLFI are largely encouraging and those that are not provide ‘opportunity’ to serve. Looking into 2022, we see significant potential for growth as pent-up demand begins to wane and our clients further assimilate to the current environment.”

Credit approvals totaled 78 percent in October, per ELFA survey responses, up from 76.3 percent in September, says the group.

ELFA describes the MLFI-25 as a barometer of trends in United States 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.