Leasing Confidence Index Ticks Up in February

Feb. 26, 2024
Demand for leases and loans will increase over the next four, say 7% of respondents.

An index measuring confidence in the equipment finance market moved up to 51.7 in February, an increase from the January index of 48.6. The Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) is published by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation and measures current business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by executives in the equipment finance sector.

“We believe there is a 50/50 chance of a recession this year, which will likely result in lower capex spending on equipment, at least in the first half or until interest rates decline,” said respondent Jeffry Elliott, president, Huntington Equipment Finance, in a statement. “However, following the significant delay in equipment acquisitions last year, we still expect considerable activity this year, as equipment wears out and replacement can be delayed only so long. Fortunately, long-term growth prospects for the United States and North America are strong, and we think the largest-ever expansion in our nation’s history is on the horizon.”

Read also: 2024 Prices Remain a Concern for Fleets

One in 10 (10.7%) respondents said that they expect business conditions to improve over the next four months, a decrease from 20.7% in January. On the other side, 7.1% expect business conditions to worsen, a decrease from 17.2% in January. Four-fifths (82.1%) expect conditions to remain the same, up from 62.1% in January.

Demand for leases and loans will increase over the next four months, according to 7.1% of respondents, down from 13.8% in January. Twice as many respondents (14.3%) expect demand to decline, down from 20.7% in January.

2024 economic outlook

Only 3.6% of respondents evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” although this is up from none the previous month. Nine of 10 (89.3%) evaluate the current economy as “fair,” down from 93.1% in January, and 7.1% evaluate it as “poor,” relatively unchanged from the previous month.

Nearly one in five (17.9%) expect that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, up from 13.8% in January. Slightly less, 14.3%, expect economic conditions to worsen, a decrease from 20.7% the previous month.

About the Author

Rod Sutton

I have served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and ConstructionEquipment.com since 2001. 

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