The Equipment Lease and Finance Foundation September 2012 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) reports overall confidence in the equipment finance market is 53.0, up from the August index of 50.2. This reflects an increased optimism despite concerns about companies’ willingness to expand their businesses in the face of economic and political uncertainty, the Foundation reports.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent Anthony Cracchiolo, president and CEO, Vendor Services, U.S. Bank Equipment Finance, said in the report: “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.”
September 2012 Survey Results:
- The overall MCI-EFI is 53.0, up from the August index of 50.2.
- When asked to assess their business conditions throughout the next four months, 8.8 percent of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve during the next four months, up from 6.3 percent in August. 73.5 percent of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, down from 78.1 percent in August. 17.6 percent believe business conditions will worsen, up from 15.6 percent the previous month.
- 11.8 percent of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase during the next four months, an increase from 6.3 percent in August. 76.5 percent believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 75 percent the previous month. 11.8 percent believe demand will decline, down from 18.8 percent in August.
- 14.7 percent of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions during the next four months, down from 15.6 percent in August. 85.3 percent of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 84.4 percent from the previous month. No survey respondents expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from August.
- When asked, 29.4 percent of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, down from 31.3 percent in August. 67.6 percent expect no change in headcount during the next four months, up from 65.6 percent in August. 2.9 percent expect fewer employees, down from 3.1 percent of respondents who expected fewer employees in August.
- 76.5 percent of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” up from 68.8 percent last month. 23.5 percent rate it as “poor,” down from 31.3 percent in August.
- 5.9 percent of survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, down from 6.3 percent in August. 79.4 percent of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” throughout the next six months, up from 78.1 percent in August. 14.7 percent believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen during the next six months, a decrease from 15.6 percent who believed so last month.
- In September, 29.4 percent of respondents indicated they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, up from 15.6 percent in August. 70.6 percent believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, down from 81.3 percent last month, and no one believes there will be a decrease in spending, down from 3.1 percent last month.