The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) recently released its June 2015 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). 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 $903 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 62.6, remaining essentially the same as the June index of 63.0.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent David T. Schaefer, CEO, Mintaka Financial, LLC, said: “New applications for leases and loans increased significantly in the latter half of the second quarter. If this trend continues we would have a record third quarter post-recession. I’m moderately optimistic as we have experienced unsustained bursts in the recent past.”
July 2015 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 62.6, essentially the same as the June index of 63.0.
- • When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 17.2 percent of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, relatively unchanged from 17.9 percent in June. 75.9 percent of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, a decrease from 82.1 percent in June. 6.9 percent believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from none who believed so the previous month.
- • 20.7 percent of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down slightly from 21.4 percent in June. 72.4 percent believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, down from 78.6 percent the previous month. 6.9 percent believe demand will decline, an increase from none who believed so in June.
- • 20.7 percent of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 25 percent in June. 79.3 percent of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, up from 75 percent in June. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.
- • When asked, 51.7 percent of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 57.1 percent in June. 48.3 percent expect no change in headcount over the next four months, up from 35.7 percent last month. None expect to hire fewer employees, down from 7.1 percent who expected fewer in June.
- • 13.8 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” an increase from 3.6 percent last month. 82.8 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 96.4 percent in June. 3.5 percent rate it as “poor,” an increase from none the previous month.
- • 24.1 percent of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 28.6 percent who believed so in June. 69 percent of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 67.9 percent in June. 6.9 percent believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 3.6 percent who believed so last month.
- • In July, 48.3 percent of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 35.7 percent in June. 51.7 percent believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 60.7 percent last month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, down from 3.6 percent who believed so last month.
July 2015 MCI-EFI Survey Comments from Industry Executive Leadership:
Independent, Small Ticket
“Demand continues to remain consistent. We still experience a reluctance on the part of small business owners to consider acquiring equipment that will help grow their business as opposed to replacement equipment. Mid-size and larger companies continue to remain fairly bullish on investment opportunities. Abundant capital and low delinquency statistics continue to keep rates and margins under pressure.” Valerie Hayes Jester, President, Brandywine Capital Associates Inc.
Bank, Small Ticket
“I believe that there continues to be pent-up demand for capital equipment investment while there is also expectation of higher rates in the future. This can be a powerful combination for growth in our industry.” Paul Menzel, President & CEO, Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC
Bank, Middle Ticket
“Capital expenditures for equipment continue to ramp upward in almost all sectors. Favorable market conditions, low interest rates and ample capital availability are the driving factors.” Harry Kaplun, President, Frost Equipment Leasing and Finance