The number of businesses using asset finance reached its highest levels since 2009, according to the latest figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

Data from the FLA shows that a third (33.3%) of business investment was financed by its members in the year up to the end of June 2017, up from 31.8% in 2016 and the highest level for eight years.

New business, specifically leasing and hire purchase, for deals of up to £20 million grew by 6% in July when compared to the same month in 2016.

Sectors that were particularly high in asset finance usage included the plant and machinery sectors and business equipment sector which saw increases of 20% and 13%, respectively.

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The latest figures confirm the importance of the asset finance industry to the UK economy.”

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