Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Releases March Monthly Confidence Index

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released the March 2016 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Confidence in the equipment finance market is 51.6, an increase from the February index of 48.3.

When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 3.2% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, unchanged from February. 77.4% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, an increase from 71% in February. 19.4% believe business conditions will worsen, a decrease from 25.8% the previous month.

9.7% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, an increase from 3.2% in February.  74.2% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 61.3% the previous month. 16.1% believe demand will decline, a decrease from 35.5% who believed so in February.

16.1% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, unchanged from February. 77.4% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 71.0% the previous month. 6.5% expect “less” access to capital, a decrease from 12.9% last month.

When asked, 32.3% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 29.0% in February. 61.3% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 64.5 last month. 6.5% expect to hire fewer employees, unchanged from February.

None of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” unchanged from last month.  100% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” up from 96.8% in February.  None rate it as “poor,” down from 3.2% the previous month.

None of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 6.5% who believed so in February. 77.4% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 67.7% the previous month. 22.6% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a decrease from 25.8% who believed so last month.

In March, 38.7% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 41.9% in February.  48.4% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, unchanged from the previous month.  12.9% believe there will be a decrease in spending, an increase from 9.7% who believed so last month.

 

Who participates in the MCI-EFI?
The respondents are comprised of a wide cross section of industry executives, including large-ticket, middle-market and small-ticket banks, independents and captive equipment finance companies. The MCI-EFI uses the same pool of 50 organization leaders to respond monthly to ensure the survey’s integrity. Since the same organizations provide the data from month to month, the results constitute a consistent barometer of the industry's confidence.

Survey results are posted on the foundation website, in the Foundation Forecast newsletter, and in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.