When one institutional unit A owns a durable good and transfers the right to use this good to another unit B, A is said to be the "lessor" and B the "lessee". Payments from B to A in exchange for the transfer of user rights are called "rental payments". The lessor may be identical with, or a subsidiary of, the producer or seller of the durable good, but the lessor may also be a completely independent unit with no ties to the producer or seller. All sorts of produced durable goods, from buildings and structures to consumer durables, may be the subject of leasing, and any kind of institutional unit may use leasing to obtain user rights over durable goods.
In business statistics, leasing may be measured by:
- total rents paid to leasing enterprises in respect of leasing transactions carried out during the year and in previous years, and not yet expired (part of "purchases of goods and services" or "financial expenditure") or
- value of capital goods received during the year as a result of leasing transactions.
The recourse of an enterprise to a leasing transaction results in an effective increase in its production capacities.
Note: Leasing is an economic concept which includes both financial and operating leasing.
Eurostat, "European System of Accounts - ESA 1995", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1996