Equipment Finance Industry Confidence Higher in February

Washington, DC, February 22, 2024 – The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the February 2024 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. 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 51.7, an increase from the January index of 48.6.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Jeffry Elliott, CLFP, President, Huntington Equipment Finance, said, “We believe there is a 50/50 chance of a recession this year, which will likely result in lower capex spending on equipment, at least in the first half or until interest rates decline. However, following the significant delay in equipment acquisitions last year, we still expect considerable activity this year, as equipment wears out and replacement can be delayed only so long. The speed of onshoring and reshoring also will determine the demand for acquiring equipment or capex. Fortunately, long-term growth prospects for the United States and North America are strong, and we think the largest-ever expansion in our nation’s history is on the horizon.”

February 2024 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 51.7, an increase from the January index of 48.6.

  • When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 10.7% of the executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, a decrease from 20.7% in January. 82.1% believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 62.1% the previous month. 7.1% believe business conditions will worsen, a decrease from 17.2% in
  • 7.1% of the survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 13.8% in January. 78.6% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 65.5% the previous month. 14.3% believe demand will decline, a decrease from 20.7% in January.
  • 14.3% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 13.8% in January. 75% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, down from 75.9% last month. 10.7% expect “less” access to capital, up slightly from 10.3% the previous month.
  • When asked, 21.4% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 6.9% in 71.4% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down from 79.3% last month. 7.1% expect to hire fewer employees, down from 13.8% in January.
  • 3.6% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” up from none the previous month. 89.3% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 93.1% in January. 7.1% evaluate it as “poor,” relatively unchanged from 6.9% last month.
  • 17.9% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, up from 13.8% in January. 67.9% indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 65.5% last month. 14.3% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a decrease from 20.7% the previous month.
  • In February, 21.4% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 17.2% the previous month. 67.9% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, up from 65.5% in January. 10.7% believe there will be a decrease in spending, down from 17.2% last month.

January 2024 MCI-EFI Survey Comment from Industry Executive Leadership:

Bank, Small Ticket
“The U.S. economy is in transition and that brings opportunity to the creative and solution-oriented equipment finance and leasing companies in our industry. Our ability to pivot, meet our customers’ needs, and quickly execute on opportunities will determine our success. The headwinds of rising bankruptcy filings, delinquency and overall portfolio performance trending to long term averages are a change to the incredible times our industry has had for over a decade. This shift will affect organizations’ commitment and harm some while helping others. I look forward to growth in 2024.” David Normandin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wintrust Specialty Finance


Why an MCI-EFI?
Confidence in the U.S. economy and the capital markets is a critical driver to the equipment finance industry. Throughout history, when confidence increases, consumers and businesses are more apt to acquire more consumer goods, equipment, and durables, and invest at prevailing prices. When confidence decreases, spending and risk-taking tend to fall. Investors are said to be confident when the news about the future is good and stock prices are rising.

 Who participates in the MCI-EFI?
The respondents are comprised of a wide cross-section of industry executives, including large-ticket, middle-market and small-ticket banks, independents, and captive equipment finance companies. The MCI-EFI uses the same pool of 50 organization leaders to respond monthly to ensure the survey’s integrity. Since the same organizations provide the data from month to month, the results constitute a consistent barometer of the industry’s confidence.

How is the MCI-EFI designed?
The survey consists of seven questions and an area for comments, asking the respondents’ opinions about the following:

  1. Current business conditions
  2. Expected product demand over the next four months
  3. Access to capital over the next four months
  4. Future employment conditions
  5. Evaluation of the current U.S. economy
  6. S. economic conditions over the next six months
  7. Business development spending expectations
  8. Open-ended question for comment

How may I access the MCI-EFI?
Survey results are posted on the Foundation website,, included in the Foundation Forecast eNewsletter, and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.


The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that propels the equipment finance sector—and its people—forward through industry-specific knowledge, intelligence, and student talent development programs that contribute to industry innovation, individual careers, and the advancement of the equipment leasing and finance industry. The Foundation is funded through charitable individual and corporate donations. Learn more at


Media Contact: Kelli Nienaber,