Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation

Survey: Executives Believe Business and Economic Conditions Will Improve in the Coming Months

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the July 2013 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. 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 $725 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 59.4, an increase from the June index of 57.3, reflecting industry participants’ increasing optimism despite continued moderate demand for equipment.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent Russell Nelson, President, CoBank Farm Credit Leasing said, “Demand for replacement/additions of equipment and facilities remains steady to increasing, with rising interest rates and equipment costs accelerating capital expenditures through the remainder of 2013. We have growing confidence that the economy and business climate will continue to post modest improvement during the next 18 months.”

July 2013 survey results:

When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months:

  • 25% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve, up from 19.4% in June
  • 71.9% believe business conditions will remain the same, up from 71% in June
  • 3.1% believe business conditions will worsen, down from 9.7% the previous month
  • 15.6% believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 19.4% in June
  • 81.3% believe demand will “remain the same”, up from 71% the previous month
  • 3.1% believe demand will decline, down from 9.7% in June
  • 21.9% expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions, up from 19.4% in June
  • 78.1% expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, a decrease from 80.6% the previous month
  • No one expects “less” access to capital, unchanged from June
  • 25% expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 29% in June
  • 68.8% expect no change in headcount, up from 67.7% last month
  • 6.3% expect fewer employees, up from 3.2% of respondents who expected fewer employees in June
  • 90.6% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” unchanged from last month
  • 9.4% rate it as “poor,” also unchanged from June

When asked about conditions over the next six months:

  • 34.4% believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 22.6% in June
  • 62.5% believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same”, a decrease from 71% in June
  • 3.1% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen, a decrease from 6.5% who believed so last month
  • 31.3% believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 25.8% in June
  • 68.8% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 74.2% last month
  • No one believes there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from June