The Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation releases the September 2011 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 $521 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 47.6, down from the August index of 50.0, indicating continuing concern with global economic conditions and their impact on the industry.
When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 4.9% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 13.2% in August. 61.0% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, a decrease from 65.8% in August. 34.1% of executives believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from 21.1% in August.
12.2% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 21.1% in August. 68.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 57.9% the previous month. 19.5% believe demand will decline, down from 21.1% who believed so in August.
15.0% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 21.1% in August. 82.5% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 73.7% the previous month. 2.5% of survey respondents expect “less” access to capital, a decrease from 5.3% who expected less access to capital in August.
When asked, 17.5% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, down from 23.7% in August. 72.5% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, an increase from 65.8% last month, while 10.0% expect fewer employees, a slight decrease from 10.5% in August.