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

MLFI-25 Data Show Year-Over-Year Equipment Finance Originations Increased in Second Quarter 2008

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity for the $650 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for the second quarter increased 3.2 percent when compared to the same period 2007.

The MLFI-25 is the only index that reflects levels of equipment financed in the U.S. economy. The MLFI-25 complements other relevant economic indices, including the monthly durable goods report produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which reflects new orders for manufactured durable goods and the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Along with the MLFI-25, these reports provide a complete picture that describes the use of productive assets in the U.S. economy: equipment produced, acquired and financed.

According to the June data, originations month-to-month increased by 16.7 percent to $8.4 billion. Respondents' portfolio performance was mixed: receivables in the less-than-30 day category were 97.1 percent in June, up nominally from the prior month. Conversely, charge-offs reached their highest point since January 2006 (0.88 percent) and are running nearly double the level experienced during the same month in the previous year.

Credit approval ratios (76.6 percent) increased 0.4 percent when compared to the prior month (76.2 percent). Total headcount for equipment finance companies has been relatively stable since February 2008, showing a slight increase of 1.4 percent.

"The June MLFI-25 indicates some softening in the equipment finance originations as compared to the same period in 2007 and an uptick in charge-offs. That said, the second quarter ended with originations up 3.2 percent year over year after a tepid first quarter, making the year-to-date flat," said Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., ELFA President. "Delinquencies are holding steady and a slight increase in charge-offs notwithstanding, would indicate that investment in capital goods has at the very least held its own in an otherwise troubled economic environment," said Bentsen.

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 which supports 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 provides metrics reflecting 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, which contributes to the representation of current business conditions nationally.

Results of each MLFI-25 are posted on the ELFA website. ELFA is the premier source for statistics and analyses covering the entire equipment finance sector. Please visit

ELFA MLFI-25 Participants

                             ADP Credit Corporation
                                 Bank of America
                                Bank of the West
                            Canon Financial Services
                   Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation
                        De Lage Landen Financial Services
                                Fifth Third Bank
                        First American Equipment Finance
                             Hitachi Credit America
                              HP Financial Services
                                 Irwin Financial
                          John Deere Credit Corporation
                              Key Equipment Finance
                           Marlin Leasing Corporation
                         National City Commercial Corp.
                                RBS Asset Finance
                            Regions Equipment Finance
                           Siemens Financial Services
                                   US Bancorp
                               US Express Leasing
                              Verizon Capital Corp
                            Volvo Financial Services
                          Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

About ELFA

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $650 billion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing the utilization and investment of and in 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 over 700 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.

For more information, please visit



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