New business volume for equipment finance companies dropped 7% in April as companies lowered capital spending amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association said the 25 companies it surveys for its Monthly Leasing and Finance Index signed up for $8.2 billion in new loans, leases, and lines of credit last month, down from $8.8 billion a year earlier. Borrowings fell 8% from March.
Charge-offs, a measure of portfolio quality, were 0.80% in April, up from 0.55% the previous month and from 0.32 percent in the year-earlier period.
“Business performance shows deterioration from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with volume levels and portfolio quality metrics both falling in tandem,” ELFA Chief Executive Ralph Petta said in a news release.
“The expectation is that this pattern continues into the summer months as the nation’s economy dips into a recession,” he added. “Time will only tell whether these conditions stabilize in the face of massive fiscal stimulus provided by the federal government.”
ELFA also said the percentage of borrowers that had their credit approved totaled 71.7% in April, down from 74.2% in March, and that its monthly confidence index rose to 25.8 from the all-time low of 22.3 in April.
A reading of above 50 indicates a positive business outlook.