Andrea Watkins

Asset Finance Figures Surges In Q1 Amidst Uncertainty

In a year that will be influenced by economic and political uncertainty, there has been lots of speculation as to what impact this will have on the asset finance sector. In the last couple of months, the Finance and Leasing Association released figures that show that asset finance grew by 9% in February 2016 when compared with the same period the year before and by 10% in March.
lease agreement with numbers, calculator and penThe February numbers were commented on by the FLA, who made particular reference to some of the factors such as the EU referendum in the UK that are expected to have an impact on industry confidence and performance. Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA reacted to the news in an interview with Leasing Life.

“The asset finance market saw stronger new business growth in February following a relatively quiet start to 2016. The improvement was broad-based with most of the main asset sectors reporting higher levels of new business. These figures suggest that business confidence remains relatively robust despite uncertainty about the global economic outlook and the EU membership referendum.”
When speaking in May, Kilkelly talked about the statistical outlier to the growth in March, which was plant and machinery asset finance declining by 2%.
“March saw the asset finance market report its highest level of monthly new business on record. Growth was broad-based with the exception of a fall in new finance for plant and machinery. The slowdown in this sector reflects the apparent weakness of the industrial sector reported in the latest national statistics.”
As the political and economic situation develops industry experts will be watching keenly to see how fear and uncertainty impact upon the market. It may not be until well after the EU referendum that we can see the full extent of the impact that it had on finance and leasing activity.

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