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Industry confidence at 2-year high for second consecutive month

Manufacturing Group | April 24, 2014

The index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future.

Industry confidence at 2-year high for second consecutive month

Washington, DC – The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the April 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). 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. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 65.1, remaining at the highest index level in two years for the second consecutive month.  

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent Thomas Jaschik, President, BB&T Equipment Finance, said, “The first quarter of 2014 had positive results with respect to new business activity, and the economy is on a positive trajectory.  The conclusion of the winter of 2013-2014 may be the catalyst for pent-up demand to begin to be released.  This will have a positive impact on the equipment finance market throughout 2014.” 

April 2014 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 65.1, unchanged from the March index.

  • When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 37% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 31.4% in March.  60% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, down from 65.7% in March.  2.9% believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
  • 37% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, up from 31.4% in March.  60% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, down from 62.9% the previous month.  2.9% believe demand will decline, down from 5.7% who believed so in March. 
  • 28.6% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, a decrease from 31.4% in March.  71.4% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, up from 68.6% in March.  No one expects “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month. 
  • When asked, 37% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 40% in March.  60% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, unchanged from last month.  2.9% expect fewer employees, up from no one who expected fewer employees in March. 
  • 2.9% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” down from 5.7% last month.  91.4% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” up from 88.6% last month.  5.7% rate it as “poor,” unchanged from March.
  • 34.3% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 31.4% who believed so in March.  62.9% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 68.6% in March.  2.9% believes economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from no one who believed so last month. 
  • In April, 40% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 45.7% in March.  60% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 54.3% last month.  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.

Source: The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation

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