CINCINNATI, Ohio — National car lease marketplace reported this week that customer credit approvals based on U.S. Bank data jumped 27.3 percent in 2012 compared with approval rates from 2011. Consumer credit is the backbone of vehicle lease approvals, and the latest company data showed a continued positive trend since it last reported credit data in September.

Most notably, the last two months of 2012 saw significant credit approval rates jump, with 55 percent more approvals in December compared with November. Credit declines from month-to-month shrank by 29 percent during the same time period. Furthermore, recorded 240 percent more credit approvals in December 2012 vs. December 2011.

“We continually monitor credit approval trends on the marketplace to determine if the overall health of the economy is impacting car leasing,” said Scot Hall, executive vice president of “Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if these approval rates dip back down once the increased payroll taxes take effect from the fiscal cliff negotiations.”

Additional U.S. Bank data for shows customer credit declines shrank 32 percent in the second half of 2012 compared with decline rates in the earlier part of the year.