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ELFF Releases Q1 2021 Equipment Leasing & Finance Industry Snapshot

December 22, 2020, 07:23 AM

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released the Q1 2021 Equipment Leasing & Finance Industry Snapshot, an indispensable information resource for industry participants. Designed for use in executive briefings and presentations, the presentation slide deck summarizes the current conditions and projections for the U.S. economy and equipment finance industry with clear, easy-to-digest charts and short narratives of key trends.
Among the range of details in the new release:

• The U.S. economy surged at an unprecedented 33.1 percent annualized rate in Q3 as the nation partially reopened following the pandemic-induced shutdowns of early 2020. However, due to the historic deep decline in Q2, the U.S. economy is expected to end the year down 3.5 percent from 2019.

• Growth in Q3 was fueled by a resumption in consumer spending and business investment:
   o Consumer spending surged by 40.6 percent (annualized) in Q3, contributing 25.2 percentage points to GDP growth.
   o Business investment grew 21.8 percent (annualized), while equipment and software investment jumped 46.9 percent (annualized) in Q3, contributing 3.4 percentage points to GDP growth.

• Among the range of COVID-19’s impacts on businesses are still struggling retail and travel industries. The service industry appears to be expanding after bottoming out in late spring. Leisure and hospitality continues to struggle, and even with a vaccine, prospects for the airline and hotel industries in 2021 are uncertain.

• Despite the ongoing recovery, millions of households are struggling to meet basic needs and many small businesses are in survival mode, which will ultimately weigh on growth prospects in 2021. However, the second half of the year looks more promising as the vaccine allows businesses to reopen and/or expand capacity. Overall, the economy is expected to grow 4.7 percent in 2021.

• Although headline employment numbers look promising, a detailed look shows:
   o The unemployment rate fell from 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent in November due to unemployed people leaving the labor force.
   o If these people who left the labor force were considered unemployed, the rate would be nearly 10 percent.
   o Full labor market recovery would not occur until late 2022 at the current pace.

• New business volume growth reported in ELFA’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index declined 9 percent year over year in October as the industry struggles to reclaim it pre-pandemic level. Cumulative new business volume for the year is down 5.8 percent from a year ago.
Prepared by Keybridge Research and updated quarterly, the snapshot is available for free download at

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