UK asset finance business for the small- and mid-ticket segments fell 1% year-on-year to £1.95bn (€2.23bn) in February, according to figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).
Including high value deals of over £20m, business fell 6% to €2bn.
IT equipment finance saw considerable growth, reaching £169m in business (+13%). Plant and machinery finance and car finance both grew 5%, to £491m and £552m respectively.
Finance for business equipment experienced a steep fall to £170m (-20%). Commercial equipment finance saw a 5% fall, to £169m.
Direct finance remained the preferred route to business with £948m, despite a 3% year-on-year fall. Sales finance also recorded a slowdown of 4%, to £554m. Brokerage saw a 10% boost in business, totalling £450m in deals.
In terms of facilities, finance lease and operating lease saw diverging fortunes. Business for the former rose 17% to £262m, while the latter saw a 10% fall to £390m.
Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “Many asset sectors reported further growth in February despite it being a quieter month overall.
“The asset finance market continued to support key economic sectors with new finance for construction and agricultural equipment up by 13% and 9% respectively, compared with February 2017. The manufacturing sector also benefitted as new finance for production and process equipment was 47% higher over the same period.”