The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the April 2015 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 $903 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 70.7, easing from the four-year high of 72.1 in March.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Valerie Hayes Jester, President, Brandywine Capital Associates, Inc., said, “We have seen an increase in requests for equipment financing this month. We attribute this demand to increased confidence in the economy and potential concern that interest rates may begin to rise in the fourth quarter. Our economy has shown tremendous resilience in these last years and that has influenced the mindset of those that need to purchase equipment for businesses. Capital and credit windows are at historic points; business owners know that this time is a good one to invest.”
April 2015 Survey Results
The overall MCI-EFI is 70.7, an easing from the March index of 72.1.
• When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 44.4 percent of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 50 percent in March. 55.6 percent of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 50 percent in March. None believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
• 48.2 percent of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, up from 41.7 percent in March. 51.9 percent believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, down from 58.3 percent the previous month. None believe demand will decline, unchanged from March.
• 25.9 percent of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up slightly from 25 percent in March. 74.1 percent of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, down slightly from 75 percent in March. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.
• When asked, 51.9 percent of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 70.8 percent in March. 48.2 percent expect no change in headcount over the next four months, up from 25 percent last month. None expect to hire fewer employees, down from 4.2 percent who expected fewer in March.
• 7.4 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” down from 12.5 percent last month. 92.6 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” up from 87.5 percent in March. None rate it as “poor,” unchanged from the previous month.
• 40.7 percent of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 45.8 percent who believed so in March. 55.6 percent of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase 54.2 percent in March. 3.7 percent believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from none who believed so last month.
• In April, 59.3 percent of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 58.3 percent in March. 40.7 percent believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 41.7 percent last month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.
For more information, visit www.LeaseFoundation.org.