The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the January 2012 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 $628 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 59.0, an increase from the December index of 57.2, indicating improved optimism about business activity amid continuing concerns about the global economic situation.
January 2012 Survey Results:
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 18.4% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 22.2% in December; 76.3% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 75.7% in December; 5.3% of executives believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from 2.8% in December.
- 18.4% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 19.4% in December; 76.3% believe demand will remain the same during the same four-month time period, down from 80.6% the previous month; 5.3% believe demand will decline, up from none who believed so in December.
- 21.1% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 22.2% in December; 78.9% of survey respondents indicate they expect the "same" access to capital to fund business, an increase from 75.0% the previous month; No survey respondents expect "less" access to capital, down from 2.8% in December.
- When asked, 31.62% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, up from 22.2% in December; 63.2% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 69.4% last month; while 5.3% expect fewer employees, down from 8.3% in December.
- 89.5% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as "fair," an improvement from 75.0% last month; 10.5% rate it as "poor," also improved from 25.0% in December.
- 21.1% of survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get "better" over the next six months, up from 19.4% in December; 78.9% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will "stay the same" over the next six months, up slightly from 77.8% in December; No one responded that they believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a decrease from 2.8% who believed so last month.
- In January, 34.2% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, up from 22.2% in December; 65.8% believe there will be "no change" in business development spending, down from 77.8% last month; and no one believes there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.
Survey results are posted on the Foundation website, http://www.leasefoundation.org/IndRsrcs/MCI/, included in the Foundation Forecast newsletter and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.