Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation

Equipment Finance Sector Confidence Reflects Increased Optimism

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the September 2012 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 53.0, up from the August index of 50.2, reflecting increased optimism despite concerns over companies’ willingness to expand their businesses in the face of economic and political uncertainty.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent Anthony Cracchiolo, president and chief executive officer, Vendor Services, U.S. Bank Equipment Finance, said, “The industry is performing well and new businesses are entering the segment to join the positive experience our asset class enjoys. However, the growth of our industry is tightly aligned with the overall U.S. economy, and our industry's future will be determined by the broader actions of the U.S. economy.”

Survey results

  • 8.8% said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 6.3% in August
  • 73.5% believe business conditions will remain the same, down from 78.1% in August
  • 17.6% believe business conditions will worsen, up from 15.6% the previous month
  • 11.8% believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, an increase from 6.3% in August
  • 76.5% believe demand will “remain the same”, up from 75% the previous month
  • 11.8% believe demand will decline, down from 18.8% in August
  • 14.7% expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 15.6% in August
  • 85.3% expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 84.4% the previous month
  • No survey respondents expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from August
  • 29.4% expect to hire more employees over the next four months, down from 31.3% in August
  • 67.6% expect no change in headcount, up from 65.6% last month
  • 2.9% expect fewer employees, down from 3.1% in August
  • 76.5% evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” up from 68.8% last month
  • 23.5% rate it as “poor,” down from 31.3% in August
  • 5.9% believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, down from 6.3% in August
  • 79.4% believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same”, up from 78.1% in August
  • 14.7% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen, a decrease from 15.6% last month
  • 29.4% believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, up from 15.6% in August
  • 70.6% believe there will be “no change”, down from 81.3% last month
  • No one believes there will be a decrease in spending, down from 3.1% last month

Designed to collect leadership data, the Monthly Confidence Index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $628 billion equipment finance sector.