Asset finance new business has increased by 16% year-on-year in June, according to the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

In June, total asset finance purchased through FLA members increased to £3.13bn (€3.44bn). Direct finance was the most popular channel, increasing by 19% year-on-year in June to reach £1.61bn in value.

Lease and hire purchase was the most popular product, increasing by 11% year-on-year to £1.59bn in June 2017. Other finance grew by 52% year-on-year in June to £473m.

By asset, plant and machinery finance saw the largest percentage increase, rising 37% year-on-year to £729m. Aircraft, ships and rolling stock finance was the only asset class to see a decline, falling 10% year-on-year in June to £14m.

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market reported its sixth consecutive month of growth in June, with new business in the first half of 2017 up by 11% compared with the same period in 2016.

“The plant and machinery finance sector has seen particularly strong growth in 2017 so far. In the first six months of 2017, new asset finance for construction and agricultural equipment grew by 34% and 28% respectively, while production and processing plant finance increased by 29%.”