The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the April 2019 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI), which reports that confidence in the equipment finance market decreased in April after two consecutive months’ increases to 58.3, down from the March index of 60.4. 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.
“Low unemployment continues to fuel consumer strength, and seems to be propelling the market forward. I am concerned about the deficit and potential inflation, and their impact on interest rates,” says MCI-EFI survey respondent Quentin Cote, CLFP, president, Mintaka Financial.
Other April 2019 survey results:
• When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 13.3% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 20% in March. 76.7% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, an increase from 70% the previous month. 10% believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
• 13.3% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 23.3% in March. 83.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 70% the previous month. 3.3% believe demand will decline, down from 6.7% who believed so in March.
• 6.7% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 13.3% in March. 93.3% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 86.7% last month. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from last month.
• When asked, 46.7% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, unchanged from March. 40% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 46.7% last month. 13.3% expect to hire fewer employees, up from 6.7% last month.
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