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Equipment Finance Industry Confidence Steady in June


June 22, 2022 – The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) for June reports that overall confidence in the equipment finance market is 50.9, steady with the May index of 49.6.

The index assesses 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 Glenn Davis, President, RESIDCO, said, “Interest rates are a major concern. Uncertainties related to Fed action or inaction, as well as the continuing war in Ukraine will weigh heavily on the economy.”

June 2022 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 50.9, steady with the May index of 49.6.

•   When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 11.1% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, an increase from 6.9% in May. 55.6% believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, down from 62.1% the previous month. 33.3% believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from 31% in May.

•   11.1% of the survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, up from 10.3% in May. 66.7% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 65.5% the previous month. 22.2% believe demand will decline, down from 24.1% in May.

•   22.2% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 13.8% in May. 77.8% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, a decrease from 86.2% last month. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.

•   When asked, 29.6% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, down from 48.3% in May. 66.7% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, an increase from 44.8% last month. 3.7% expect to hire fewer employees, down from 6.9% in May.

•   7.4% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” an increase from 3.5% the previous month. 74.1% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 79.3% in May. 18.5% evaluate it as “poor,” an increase from 17.2% last month.

•   7.4% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 3.5% in May. 37% indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 27.6% last month. 55.6% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a decrease from 69% the previous month.

•   In June 40.7% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, up from 34.5% the previous month. 59.3% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, down from 65.5% in May. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.

June 2021 MCI-EFI Survey Comments from Industry Executive Leadership:

Bank, Small Ticket
“The equipment leasing and finance business adapts to change and finds ways to win in difficult environments. The rising rate environment is a healthy change from the past decade and creates the opportunity to build margin back into business models and strengthen the community.”
David Normandin, CLFP, President and CEO, Wintrust Specialty Finance

Independent, Small Ticket
“When the supply chain is repaired, and should demand evaporate, we will have a bigger issue than we do today.” James D. Jenks, CEO, Global Finance and Leasing Services, LLC

Bank, Middle Ticket
“Supply chain issues continue to linger, especially with light duty trucks. We continue to see interest from our customers with large expansion projects to lock in rates while they remain at historically low levels.” Michael Romanowski, President, Farm Credit Leasing

About the MCI
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?
The respondents are composed 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.

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