The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the October 2018 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. 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. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market eased in October to 63.2, a decrease from the September index of 65.5.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Harry Kaplun, President, Specialty Finance, Frost Bank, said, “Business optimism is apparent in all sectors, which leads to more capital spending. While there is some caution with large expansions, most companies are willing to spend on equipment to grow.”
October 2018 Survey Results
The overall MCI-EFI is 63.2, a decrease from 65.5 in September.
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 18.5% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, an increase from 17.9% in September. 81.5% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, a decrease from 82.1% the previous month. None believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
- 25.9% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 35.7% in September. 70.4% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 64.3% the previous month. 3.7% believe demand will decline, up from none who believed so in September.
- 14.8% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 10.7% in September. 85.2% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, a decrease from 89.3% last month. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from last month.
- When asked, 44.4% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 50% in September. 48.2% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 50% last month. 7.4% expect to hire fewer employees, up from none last month.
- 51.9% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” 48.2% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” and none evaluate it as “poor,” all unchanged from last month.
- 11.1% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, unchanged from September. 74.1% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 85.2% the previous month. 14.8% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 3.7% in September.
- In October, 44.4% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 40.7% in September. 55.6% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 59.3% the previous month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.
- Bank 73%
- Captive 7.6%
- Financial Services 0%
- Independent 15.3%
- Other 3.8%
Market Segments Based on Transaction Size of New Business Volume
- Large-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Size Over $5 Million) 23%
- Middle-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Size of $250,000 – $5 Million) 50%
- Small-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Size of $25,000 – $249,999) 27%
- Micro-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Less Than $25,000) 0.00%
- Under $50 Million 7.6%
- $50 Million – $250 Million 7.6%
- $250 Million – $1 Billion 30.7%
- Over $1 Billion 53.8%