The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the March 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 is 72.2 in March, easing slightly from 73.2 in February.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Anthony Cracchiolo, President and CEO, U.S. Bank Equipment Finance, said, “We are seeing growth in capex spending across a broad segment of the economy. While some areas are expanding more quickly than others, all are moving in a positive direction. Businesses are more positive then we have seen in over a decade and activity is picking up momentum. The equipment finance industry is healthy and poised to support the expanding economy.”
March 2018 Survey Results
The overall MCI-EFI is 72.2 in March, easing from 73.2 in February.
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 54.8% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, an increase from 46.4% in February. 45.2% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, a decrease from 53.6% the previous month. None believe business conditions will worsen, unchanged from the previous month.
- 67.7% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, unchanged from February. 32.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, relatively unchanged from 32.1% the previous month. None believe demand will decline, also unchanged from February.
- 22.6% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 28.6% in February. 74.2% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 67.9% last month. 3.2% expect “less” access to capital, down slightly from 3.6% last month.
- When asked, 41.9% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 42.9% in February. 51.6% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 53.6% last month. 6.5% expect to hire fewer employees, up from 3.6% in February.
- 29.0% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” up from 25.0% last month. 71.0% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 75.0% in February. None evaluate it as “poor,” unchanged from last month.
- 45.2% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 60.7% in February. 51.6% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 35.7% the previous month. 3.2% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a slight decrease from 3.6% in February.
- In March, 51.6% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 53.6% in February. 45.2% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 46.4% the previous month. 3.2% believe there will be a decrease in spending, an increase from none who believed so last month.
- Bank 63.33%
- Captive 13.33%
- Financial Services 3.33%
- Independent 20.00%
- Other (please specify) 0.00%
Market Segments Based on Transaction Size of New Business Volume
- Large-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Size Over $5 Million) 20.00%
- Middle-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Size of $250,000 – $5 Million) 50.00%
- Small-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Size of $25,000 – $249,999) 30.00%
- Micro-Ticket (New Business Volume Avg. Transaction Less Than $25,000) 0.00%
- Under $50 Million 6.67%
- $50 Million – $250 Million 13.33%
- $250 Million – $1 Billion 20.00%
- Over $1 Billion 60.00%