Businesses took on more debt and spent more capital to boost their equipment infrastructure in January, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's latest monthly Leasing and Finance Index.
The $628 billion equipment financing sector is often seen as a critical gauge of business sentiment, particularly in regards to growth investment. When companies begin take on loans it suggests they are more confident in their financial prospects. Last month, the market's overall new business volume climbed on a year-over-year basis of 21 percent to reach $5.1 billion. Reflecting common trends during the first month of the year, that volume marked a 53 percent decrease from December. ELFA president and CEO William Sutton explained that January's financing activity even reflected a more typical pattern of expansion than in previous years, as the end of 2011 showed signs of improvement in consumer spending and business sentiment. "The continued strengthening in financing volume and trend toward healthier portfolios provide clear evidence that the equipment finance marketplace is in the midst of regaining some of the momentum lost during the Great Recession," Sutton added.