The July 2013 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) released by Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation revealed an increase to 59.4 from the June index of 57.3, reflecting industry participants' increasing optimism despite continued moderate demand for equipment. Some of the findings are noted here.
Asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 25% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from about 19% in June. 72% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, fundamentally unchanged from June’s 71%. Only 3% believe business conditions will worsen, down from 10% the previous month.
About 22% of respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 19% in June, while 78% indicate they expect the same access to capital to fund business, a decrease from nearly 81% the previous month. No one expects less access to capital, unchanged from June.
Some 25% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 29% in June. 69% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, up marginally from 68% last month. Roughy 6% expect fewer employees, up from the 3% who expected fewer employees in June.
Nearly 91% of the respondents' leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as "fair," unchanged from last month. The remaining 9% rate it "poor," also unchanged from June.
In July, 31.3% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 25.8% in June. The balance of 69% believe there will be "no change" in business development spending, a decrease from 74% last month.
The respondents are comprised of a wide cross section of industry executives, including large-ticket, middle-market and small-ticket banks, independents and captive equipment finance companies. The MCI-EFI uses the same pool of 50 organization leaders to respond monthly to ensure the survey’s integrity, and that the results constitute a consistent barometer of the industry’s confidence.