I’d like to start this editor’s letter with a brief introduction of myself. Having worked as a reporter for a while now, I’ve taken over Leasing Life for at least the next couple of editions. During this time, I aim to make sure the magazine and website remain as the go-to places for news and discussion about the leasing industry.

With that out of the way, I’ll get back to this month’s issue which, despite the aphorism "no news is good news" is brimming with stories about companies growing and economies improving for the first time in a long while.

Business levels are starting to rise around Europe as at long last countries begin to pull themselves out of the economic slump they’ve been struggling with for so long. Whereas last year’s success stories were generally confined to the UK and sometimes Germany, now companies are beginning to report overall growth from nearly every country. For example, when the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association reported an 11.1% year-on-year rise in commercial vehicle registrations in March, growth was recorded in every major economy, with the exception of France, which suffered a small dip.

This issue’s feature on the Netherlands and Belgium helps flesh this out – new leasing business volumes in the Netherlands suffered a dramatic fall between 2008 and 2009, and the leasing industry has been struggling since. And though 2013’s figures are a long way short of their pre-recession peak, for the first time people are really starting to believe the worst could be over.

It should also be noted that even in most economies that are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the majority are still a long way short of their pre-recession peak. A lot of places have stabilised, but high unemployment and levels of government debt remain a continent-wide blight. Also, growth has been uneven, with some countries and industries still dragging their feet.

But where the green shoots of recovery are seen, the leasing industry is in a great position to help out, and to capitalise on what’s to come. A running theme for a couple of months has been that companies that previously had just been trying to survive were beginning to look to invest and modernise, and often rely on finance in order to achieve this.

Nowhere is this more apparent that in the IT leasing sector. Thanks to the extremely rapid rate of technical innovation, companies need to update their equipment ever quicker, and the leasing industry has had to learn to evolve with the higher speed of turnover of equipment. The answer appears to be moving to provide a more end-to end-service and a move into software.

Hopefully this isn’t just a false dawn, but instead just the beginning of a fully fledged recovery. It’s probably too early to tell which way things are definitely going to go, but either way, I’m sure the leasing industry will be around to help keep companies financed.

Jonathan Minter, acting editor