August data reveals the impact even a relatively subdued holiday season has on lease inceptions across Europe. Following two consecutive months of growth, August saw volumes drop for the first time since the recovery began in June.
Looking at Acquis’s whole market data for lease inception volumes across Europe, at first glance the drop seems fairly profound, with August declining 21% from July. However, there is undoubtedly some seasonality impacting the figures, supported by the fact we saw a similar scale July-to-August-drop during 2019. The easing of lockdown restrictions that we witnessed across continental Europe during July and August meant that many offices and manufacturers still went into the traditional summer “sleep mode” when much of the workforce heads on holiday for the month of August.
A strong contrast was evident in UK only figures for lease inceptions, where the drop in volumes was just 4%, reflecting the nationwide focus on business as usual encouraged by the government’s Eat out to Help Out scheme and its push for a return to office working during the month. The EOTHO incentive was evidenced strongly in the data for the UK restaurant sector where lease inceptions for restaurant equipment were one of the few equipment classes which continued on an upwards trajectory, recovering to 77% of Q1 volumes.
A look at year on year data shows there is still a long way to recover to 2019 volumes for most European countries, with lease volumes for France running at 53% of August 2019 figures, and the Netherlands performing at 58% when compared with the same period a year ago.
Acquis’ Chief Commercial Officer, James Rudolf, comments, “The drop in August volumes comes as no real surprise as it reflects the seasonal drop we witness every year during the month. Overall, there are still positive signs of recovery but the retightening of social restrictions that we are seeing across Europe and the knock on effect this will have on economic activity means the outlook will continue to look bumpy for some months to come. Thanks to the support of our stable insurance partners, Acquis is very well positioned to continue to support our clients and their customers as we head into an unpredictable winter season.”