New figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) fell in February 2022 by 2% compared with the same month in 2021. In the first two months of 2022, new business was 5% higher than in the same period in 2021.
The business equipment finance sector reported new business up by 17% in February compared with the same month in 2021. By contrast, the plant and machinery finance and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported falls in new business of 1% and 4% respectively, over the same period.
Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said:
“The asset finance market continues to be adversely affected by the disruption to equipment supply caused by the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, some sectors reported double-digit growth in February including asset finance new business provided to SMEs which increased by 10% and for construction equipment which grew by 21%.
“The near-term economic outlook has become more difficult for businesses facing higher costs across the board, but we continue to expect business investment to recover as the year progresses. The asset finance market will play a vital role in supporting businesses of all sizes to invest as they embrace digitalization and work towards meeting net-zero targets.”