Equipment leasing confidence slides, according to report
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation's June Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) had an index of 52.8, which is down several points compared to May and double digits compared to the same period in 2018.
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s June 2019 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI), reported by key executives from the equipment finance sector, had a dip as confidence in the equipment finance market dropped to 52.8. This is down from the May index of 59.2. It is down from 66.2 in the same period in 2018.
Quentin Cote, CLFP, president, Mintaka Financial, LLC, said in a press release, “As unemployment is at record lows and employees are hard to come by, companies will rely more on capital equipment to support business growth and productivity growth from the employees they have. My concern is primarily the trade wars, and their impact on the prices of goods. This will eventually weaken the purchasing power of consumers and small businesses.”
When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 3.3% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, which is down from 16.1% in May. Four-fifths of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, an increase from 67.7% the previous month. A sixth (16.7%) of respondents believe business conditions will worsen, an increase from 16.1% in May.
None of the survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (CAPEX) will increase over the next four months, a decrease from 16.1% in May. 83.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 77.4% the previous month. 16.7% believe demand will decline, which is up more than 10% from those who believed so in May.
When asked, 30% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 41.9% in May. 63.3% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, an increase from 45.2% last month. 6.7% expect to hire fewer employees, down from 12.9% last month.
Pessimism is on the rise, but only slightly, according to the findings. The general state of the industry, overall, remains positive. Also, 40% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” down from 51.6% in May. 56.7% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” an increase from 48.4% the previous month.
Pessimism is on the rise, but only slightly, according to the findings. 3.3% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, down from 9.7% in May. Seven in ten of the survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 77.4% the previous month. 26.7% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 12.9% in May.