The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the November 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 further in November to 58.5, a decrease from the October index of 63.2.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Valerie Hayes Jester, President, Brandywine Capital Associates, said, “The conclusion of the midterm elections will hopefully bring a renewed focus to completion of transactions for the quarter at hand. The recent stock market gyrations usually have an impact on the confidence of the small business customer. We will see how that translates to business for 2019.”
November 2018 Survey Results
The overall MCI-EFI is 58.5, a decrease from 63.2 in October.
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 10.7% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, a decrease from 18.5% in October. 78.6% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, a decrease from 81.5% the previous month. 10.7% believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from none who believed so the previous month.
- 7.1% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 25.9% in October. 82.1% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 70.4% the previous month. 10.7% believe demand will decline, up from 3.7% who believed so in October.
- 14.3% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down slightly from 14.8% in October. 85.7% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, a slight increase from 85.2% last month. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from last month.
- When asked, 42.9% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 44.4% in October. 46.4% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 48.2% last month. 10.7% expect to hire fewer employees, up from 7.4% last month.
- 57.1% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” an increase from 51.9% in October. 42.9% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” a decrease from 48.2% last month. None evaluate it as “poor,” unchanged from last month.
- 3.6% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 11.1% in October. 78.6% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 74.1% the previous month. 17.9% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 14.8% in October.
- In November, 42.9% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 44.4% in October. 57% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 55.6% the previous month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.
- Bank 64.2%
- Captive 10.7%
- Financial Services 3.5%
- Independent 17.8%
- Other 3.5%
Market Segments Based on Transaction Size of New Business Volume
- Large-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Size Over $5 Million) 25%
- 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) 25%
- Micro-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Less Than $25,000) 0.00%
- Under $50 Million 7.1%
- $50 Million – $250 Million 7.1%
- $250 Million – $1 Billion 25%
- Over $1 Billion 60.7%