The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the August 2018 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market eased again in August to 60.7, down from the July index of 62.8. 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.
MCI-EFI survey respondent Paul Menzel, CLFP, president and CEO, Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., an Umpqua Bank Company, says, “’Uncertainty’ is the theme in the economy for the balance of 2018. Between the administration's trade strategy, the mid-term elections and the President's political challenges, decision makers are taking a wait-and-see approach to business investment.”
Survey results include:
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 13.3% of executives responding say they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, a decrease from 19.4% in July. 80% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, an increase from 77.4% the previous month. 6.7% believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from 3.2% who believed so the previous month.
- 16.7% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 19.4% in July. 83.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 77.4% the previous month. None believe demand will decline, down from 3.2% who believed so in July.
- When asked, 36.7% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 45.2% in July. 63.3% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, an increase from 51.6% last month. None expect to hire fewer employees, a decrease from 3.2% in July.
- 13.3% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a slight increase from 12.9% in July. 73.3% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 77.4% the previous month. 13.3% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 9.7% in July.
- In August, 33.3% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 45.2% in July. 66.7% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 54.8% the previous month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.
For more information, visit: www.leasefoundation.org