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12/26/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

U.S. equipment finance industry's new-business volume plummets in November


To say equipment leasing and finance transactions tailed off in November is an understatement. New business volume for the $650 billion U.S. equipment finance industry plummeted 33.1 percent compared with November 2007’s total, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) monthly leasing and finance index.

Volume also fell 33 percent compared with October’s level. But despite the November drop-off, new business volume through 2008’s first 11 months declined only 2.1 percent vs. the same 2007 period.
 
Credit approvals reached a historic-low 72 percent in November.

“Nearly half of [index] participants reported that fewer transactions were submitted for approval during the month, and underwriting standards tightened,” ELFA officials said in a report summary.
 
Interest rate reductions by the feds have not provided sufficient relief, resulting in a more restrictive equipment finance market and lower new-business volume, the report states.
 
"The equipment finance sector is beginning to feel the effects of the recession as companies pull back from investing in new plant and equipment," said ELFA President Kenneth Bentsen, Jr.


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