Posted February 26, 2024

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

January new business volume up 6 percent year-over-year.

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for January was $9.3 billion, up 6 percent year-over-year from new business volume in January 2023. Volume was down 26 percent from $12.5 billion in December following the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity.

Receivables over 30 days were 2.3 percent, unchanged from the previous month and up from 1.9 percent in the same period in 2023. Charge-offs were 0.5 percent, up from 0.4 percent the previous month and up from 0.3 percent in the year-earlier period. 

Credit approvals totaled 76 percent, up from 75 percent in December. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 1.4 percent year-over-year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in February is 51.7, an increase from the January index of 48.6.

“The optimism I expressed in last month’s MLFI continues as 2024 gets off to a strong start with solid new business volume and increased industry confidence. It’s especially encouraging to kick off in positive territory since equipment investment—the lifeblood of the equipment finance industry—is forecast to pick up in the second half of the year. Credit quality bears monitoring since delinquencies and charge-offs, in particular, remain elevated year over year,” says Leigh Lytle , ELFA President and CEO.

“Our equipment finance industry has kicked off 2024 with a stronger launch than a year before on the heels of an extremely active fourth quarter. Many finance companies remain cautious within certain segments of the trucking industry, though credit concerns and delinquency are beginning to level off with hopes of a near-term positive inflection. With several bank finance players facing ongoing liquidity challenges, strong independents and captives should continue to take advantage of capturing additional market share in the months ahead,” says Bobby Campbell, senior vice president, managing director, Operations & Strategic Development, Flagstar Financial & Leasing LLC.  

About ELFA’s MLFI-25
The MLFI-25 is the only near-real-time index that reflects capex, or the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S. The MLFI-25 is released globally at 8 a.m. Eastern time from Washington, D.C., each month on the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report. The MLFI-25 is a financial indicator that complements the durable goods report and other economic indexes, including the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Together with the MLFI-25 these reports provide a complete view of the status of productive assets in the U.S. economy: equipment produced, acquired and financed. 

The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey. The latest MLFI-25, including methodology and participants, is available at

The MLFI-25 is part of the Knowledge Hub, the source for business intelligence in the equipment finance industry. Visit the hub at

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 to support 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 measures 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 and current business conditions nationally.