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Following declines in new business volume in 2008 and 2009, the equipment finance industry began to regain volume in 2010, according to the 2011 Survey of Equipment Finance Activity (SEFA) that was recently released by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. The survey reported an overall 3.9% increase in volume in 2010, compared to the significant 30.3% decline reported in 2009 and a 2.2% decline reported in 2008. The SEFA, which is based on responses from 108 ELFA member companies, covers key statistical, financial and operations information for the $521 billion equipment finance industry.
“Through 2010, the equipment finance industry showed gradual but steady growth,” said William G. Sutton, president and CEO. “Although uncertainty about the broader economy continues, more recent data collected in the first two quarters of 2011 suggests the trend toward an improved equipment finance industry is continuing.”
Key findings for 2010 as reported in the 2011 SEFA include:
- New business volume varied by respondent. Although total new business volume increased by a moderate 3.9%, just under half of the survey respondents experienced an increase in volume between 2009 and 2010. All market segments showed growth in volume, except for the small-ticket segment, which saw a contraction.
- From an asset perspective, agriculture, trucks and trailers, and medical imaging/electronic devices saw increases in new business volume, while construction, energy and printing saw decreases. The categories with the biggest increases in new business volume were state and local government; mining/oil and gas extraction; federal government; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and arts/entertainment/recreation.
- Business conditions continued to show signs of improvement. In 2010, the cost of funds continued to drop for the third year, and though pre-tax spreads declined in 2010 compared to 2009, they were stronger than those between 2005 and 2008. While overall headcount decreased, employment did grow in the business development, credit approval and syndication areas, while positions in the account services area declined. Efforts in asset remarketing are also a focus, with sharp increases in staffing levels.
For more information, visit www.elfaonline.org/SEFA.