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Confidence in Equipment Finance Market Sees Small Uptick

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A chart on confidence in equipment finance market

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released its October 2021 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI), finding that confidence in the equipment finance market is rated at 61.1, an increase from the September index of 60.5.

The index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $900 billion equipment finance sector.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent David Normandin, CLFP, president and CEO, Wintrust Specialty Finance, said, “Business volume is increasing coming out of the summer months, portfolio performance is sound, and we are optimistic for a solid Q4 2021.”

October 2021 survey results

  • When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 25.9 percent of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 17.9 percent in September. 70.4 percent believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, down from 71.4 percent the previous month. 3.7 percent believe business conditions will worsen, down from 10.7 percent in September.
  • 22.2 percent of the survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, up from 21.4 percent in September. 74.1 percent believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, a decrease from 75 percent the previous month. 3.7 percent believe demand will decline, up from none in September.
  • 14.8 percent of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 32.1 percent in September. 85.2 percent of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 67.9 percent last month. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.
  • When asked, 40.7 percent of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, up from 28.6 percent in September. 59.3 percent expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 71.4 percent last month. None expect to hire fewer employees, unchanged from September.
  • 7.4 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” a slight increase from 7.1 percent the previous month. 81.5 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 92.9 percent in September. 11.1 percent evaluate it as “poor,” up from none last month.
  • 22.2 percent of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 17.9 percent in September. 63 percent indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 64.3 percent from last month. 14.8 percent believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, down from 17.9 percent the previous month.
  • In October, 42.9 percent of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, 57.1 percent believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, and none believe there will be a decrease in spending, all unchanged from last month.

Source: Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation