Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry Confidence at Two-Year High for Third Consecutive Month

May 23rd, 2014 by Editor

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation recently released the May 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $827 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 65.4, relatively unchanged from 65.1 last month, peaking at the highest index level in two years for the third consecutive month.

The overall MCI-EFI is 65.4, relatively unchanged from the April index.

When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 31.4 percent of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 37 percent in April. Another 68.6 percent of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 60 percent in April. No one believes business conditions will worsen, down from 2.9 percent the previous month.

A third (34.3 percent) of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 37 percent in April. Another 65.7 percent believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 60% the previous month. No one believes demand will decline, down from 2.9 percent who believed so in April.

Of executives surveyed, 28.6 percent expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, unchanged from April. Additionally, 71.4 percent of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, and no one expects “less” access to capital, also both unchanged from the previous month.

When asked, 40 percent of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 37 percent in April. More than half (51.4 percent) expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down from 60 percent last month. And 8.6 percent expect fewer employees, up from 2.9 percent who expected fewer employees in April.

The minority (2.9 percent) of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” 91.4 percent of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” and  5.7 percent rate it as “poor,” all unchanged from April.

Thirty-seven percent of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 34.3 percent who believed so in April. Another 62.9 percent of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, unchanged from April. No one believes economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a decrease from 2.9 percent who believed so last month.

In May, 45.7 percent of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 40 percent in April. Another 54.3 percent believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 60 percent last month. No one believes there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.

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