Latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew by 8% in February, compared with the same month in 2016.
The plant and machinery finance and business equipment finance sectors reported new business up in February by 11% and 24% respectively, while new finance for commercial vehicles was up 2% over the same period.
Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market has made a strong start to 2017, with new business up by 12% in the first two months of the year. It was another good month for the agricultural and construction equipment finance sectors, as new business increased by 36% and 16% respectively compared with February 2016.
“The industry’s overall performance reflects the improvement reported in recent surveys of investment intentions, which have strengthened as businesses have become more confident about demand in the short term at least.”