US new business volume was down 5% year-on-year in December at $12.5bn (€11.5bn), according to the monthly index of the US Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA).

New business volume surged by 105% compared to November, when it stood at $6.1bn. Cumulative new business volume for 2015 was relatively flat with 2014, rising 0.4%.

Late payments over 30 days stood at 1.1%, while write-offs were 0.41%, up from 0.3% the previous month.

Credit approvals totalled 80.2% in December, up from 79% in November. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 3.5% year-on-year.

ELFA president and chief executive officer Ralph Petta, said: "With another strong year end, MLFI-25 participants managed to eke out positive growth for the year. However, credit losses inched up during the month, showing some softness in portfolio quality. Now that the Fed has taken a first step toward higher long-term rates and with rock-bottom low oil prices giving way to sluggish fourth quarter growth in the U.S. economy, it will be interesting to see how the equipment finance sector responds in early 2016 and throughout the winter months."