In 2018, the leasing portfolio in Latvia increased by 7.3%, according to data collected by the Latvian Leasing Association (LLDA).

The most significant contribution was made by car leasing, and new contracts amounting to €401m (£346m) were concluded during the year.

The Latvian leasing portfolio at the conclusion of 2018 was €1.67bn. Of this, 70.1% or was financial leasing, while 23% was operational leasing. Over the year the factoring portfolio was €173m, a year-on-year increase of 13.7%. The total combined leasing and factoring portfolio in 2018 was €1.850bn, a 7.9% rise compared to 2017.

In 2018 the total for new leasing agreements amounted to €820.4m. The largest volume of new deals remained in the leasing segment, and new leasing car purchase agreements amounted to 49% of all new purchases. Leasing of equipment with new contracts was €38.8 million (29% share) and commercial leasing with new contracts amounting to €175 million (21%).

Yevgeny Belezja, head of the LLDA, said: “I would say that market development is moderate – not a two-digit percentage increase, but growth is stable and not insignificant in today’s changing market and political conditions.”

Across the continent the Leaseurope European business confidence survey recorded a “generally positive’ outlook for the continent in 2019.

The report was published in conjunction with asset finance provider Invigors EMEA, and also noted there were “growing signs of caution in some areas.”

The survey’s business confidence index (BCI) tracked the European leasing market sentiment over time. Index values above 100 suggested an increased confidence in future business performance over the next six months, while values below 100 indicate pessimism towards future performance.

The BCI stood at 126 in December, a decrease from the 133 recorded in June 2018 and 136 in December the previous year. Factors such as expectations on new business growth, net profit, bad debt and survey participants’ overall perception of their company’s prospects were all considered to have contributed to the trend.