Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation

Equipment Leasing Industry Survey Indicates Positive Signs for Equipment Demand

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the February 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 63.3, the second highest index in two years and off slightly from last month’s two-year index high of 64.9. The Index is 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. 

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent Valerie Hayes Jester, President, Brandywine Capital Associates, Inc., said, “I am optimistic that there is increasing demand for equipment and therefore financing to acquire that equipment. The brutal winter experienced by a significant portion of this country has slowed down many projects that would have been in progress by now. I am hoping that the last third of this quarter will show the signs we had experienced at year end, as demand increased.” 

February 2014 survey results:

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

  • 21.2% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve, down from 33% in January
  • 72.7% believe business conditions will remain the same, up from 61% in January
  • 6.1% believe business conditions will worsen, up from 5.6% who believed so the previous month
  • 24.2% believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase, down from 36% in January
  • 69.7% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same, up from 61% the previous month
  • 6.1% believe demand will decline, up from 2.8% who believed so in January
  • 31.3% expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions, up from 25% in January
  • 65.6% expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, down from 75% in January
  • 3.1% expect “less” access to capital, up from no one who expected less access the previous month
  •  40.6% expect to hire more employees, an increase from 33% in January
  • 53% expect no change in headcount, down from 58.3% last month
  • 6.3% expect fewer employees, down from 8.3% who expected fewer employees in January
  • 3% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” relatively unchanged from 2.8% last month
  • 93.8% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down slightly from 94.4% last month
  • 3% rate it as “poor,” also relatively unchanged from last month

When asked to assess conditions over the next six months:

  • 34.4% believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better”, a decrease from 41.7% who believed so in January
  • 59.4% believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same”, an increase from 55.6% in January
  • 6.2% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 2.6% last month
  • 56.3% believe their company will increase spending on business development activities, an increase from 55.6% in January
  • 43.8% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 39% last month
  • No one believes there will be a decrease in spending, a decrease from 5.6% who believed so last month