The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation released the April 2019 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market decreased in April after two consecutive months’ increases to 58.3, down from the March index of 60.4.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Quentin Cote, CLFP, president, Mintaka Financial, said, “Low unemployment continues to fuel consumer strength, and seems to be propelling the market forward. I am concerned about the deficit and potential inflation, and their impact on interest rates.”
Survey highlights also included:
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 13.3% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 20% in March. 76.7% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, an increase from 70% the previous month. 10% believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
- 13.3% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 23.3% in March. 83.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 70% the previous month. 3.3% believe demand will decline, down from 6.7% who believed so in March.
- 6.7% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 13.3% in March. 93.3% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 86.7% last month. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from last month.
- When asked, 46.7% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, unchanged from March. 40% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 46.7% last month. 13.3% expect to hire fewer employees, up from 6.7% last month.
- 40% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” up from 36.7% in March. 60% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” a decrease from 63.3% the previous month. None evaluate it as “poor,” unchanged from March.
- 6.7% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, unchanged from March. 73.3% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 80% the previous month. 20% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 13.3% in March.
- In April, 36.7% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 33.3% last month. 63.3% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 66.7% in March. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.
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 $1 trillion equipment finance sector.