Business volumes in the US equipment leasing market fell 7% year-on-year in August to $6.4bn (4.7bn), according to the Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25) from the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA).
This is only the second time in 43 months the MLFI has reported a year-on-year drop.
Month-on-month, the August figures were 11% down compared to July, but year-to-date cumulative new business volumes were still up 8% on 2012.
Late payments over 30 days were at 1.6% in August, compared to 1.5% in July, while write-offs increased to 0.4%, up from the record low of 0.3% which had been recorded for the past five months.
Credit approvals totaled 79.1% in August, up 0.5% month-on-month, while 56% of participating firms reported submitting more transactions for approval during August, down from 58% the previous month.
William Sutton, ELFA president and chief executive officer, said "Uncertainty surrounding heightened US involvement in the Syrian conflict, coupled with a potential federal government shutdown and a looming debt-ceiling fight between Congress and the Obama Administration may be responsible for some businesses pulling back on their equipment acquisition plans."
A separate Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation confidence index for September was up to 61.3, compared to 61.0 in August.