The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation released the October 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI), indicating an overall confidence of 60.4, slightly better than the September index of 60.2, with survey participants indicating increasing or consistent demand tempered by U.S. economic concerns. 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.
“Application volume has been solid this past quarter. We expect exceptional year-over-year fourth quarter growth to be greater than 50 percent," said MCI-EFI survey respondent David Schaefer, CEO, Mintaka Financial LLC. "It's hard to find much negative at this point so we are focused on being disciplined both in terms of credit and pricing.”
October 2014 Survey Results:
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 23% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 36.4% in September. 74% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 60.6% in September. 3% believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
- 25.7% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 30.3% in September. 71.4% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 66.7% the previous month. 3% believe demand will decline, unchanged from September.
- 11.4% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 15.2% in September. 88.6% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, up from 84.8% in September. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.
- When asked, 40% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 30.3% in September. 48.6% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down from 60.6% last month. 11.4% expect fewer employees, up from 9% in September.
- 3% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” down from 6% last month. 94.3% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” up from 87.9% in September. 3% rate it as “poor,” down from 6% the previous month.
- 28.6% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a slight increase from 27.3% who believed so in September. 68.6% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, up from 66.7% in September. 3% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, down from 6% who believed so last month.
- In October, 34.3% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 15.2% in September. 63% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 84.8% last month. 3% believe there will be a decrease in spending, up from none who believed so in September.