The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the October 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 60.4, slightly better than the September index of 60.2, with survey participants indicating increasing or consistent demand tempered by U.S. economic concerns.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent David Schaefer, CEO, Mintaka Financial LLC, said, “Application volume has been solid this past quarter. We expect exceptional year-over-year fourth quarter growth to be greater than 50 percent. It’s hard to find much negative at this point so we are focused on being disciplined both in terms of credit and pricing.”
October 2014 Survey Results
The overall MCI-EFI is 60.4, steady with the September index of 60.2.
• When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 23 percent of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 36.4 percent in September. 74 percent of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 60.6 percent in September. 3 percent believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
• 25.7 percent of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 30.3 percent in September. 71.4 percent believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 66.7 percent the previous month. 3 percent believe demand will decline, unchanged from September.
• 11.4 percent of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 15.2 percent in September. 88.6 percent of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, up from 84.8 percent in September. None expect “less” access to capital, 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 30.3 percent in September. 48.6 percent expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down from 60.6 percent last month. 11.4 percent expect fewer employees, up from 9 percent in September.
• 3 percent of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” down from 6 percent last month. 94.3 percent of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” up from 87.9 percent in September. 3 percent rate it as “poor,” down from 6 percent the previous month. .
• 28.6 percent of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a slight increase from 27.3 percent who believed so in September. 68.6 percent of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, up from 66.7 percent in September. 3 percent believe economic conditions in the United States will worsen over the next six months, down from 6 percent who believed so last month.
• In October, 34.3 percent of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 15.2 percent in September. 63 percent believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 84.8 percent last month. 3 percent believe there will be a decrease in spending, up from none who believed so in September.
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