Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 45.9.
Washington, DC – The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the December 2022 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. The index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $1 trillion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 45.9, an increase from the November index of 43.7.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Adam Warner, President, Key Equipment Finance, said, “’Cautious optimism’ is the theme as we move into 2023. The Federal Reserve is signaling that rate increases are slowing down; yet, this move doesn’t outweigh the softening demand for equipment financing due to rates being so high as a result. Businesses will need to continue moving forward regardless, and that means implementing new technology to increase productivity, efficiency and profitability.”
December 2022 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 45.9, an increase from the November index of 43.7.
When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 3.7% of the executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, an increase from none in November. 55.6% believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 46.4% the previous month. 40.7% believe business conditions will worsen, a decrease from 53.6% in November.
7.4% 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 10.7% in November. 70.4% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, an increase from 67.9% the previous month. 22.2% believe demand will decline, up from 21.4% in November.
14.8% of the respondents expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 14.3% in November. 70.4% of executives indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 64.3% last month. 14.8% expect “less” access to capital, down from 21.4% the previous month.
When asked, 33.3% of the executives report they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, up from 32.1% in November. 51.9% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 64.3% last month. 14.8% expect to hire fewer employees, up from 3.6% in November.
3.7% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” unchanged from the previous month. 70.4% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 75% in November. 25.9% evaluate it as “poor,” an increase from 21.4% last month.
None of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, unchanged from November. 48.2% indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 28.6% last month. 51.9% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, a decrease from 71.4% the previous month.
In December 37% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, up from 28.6% the previous month. 59.3% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, down from 64.3% in November. 3.7% believe there will be a decrease in spending, a decrease from 7.1% last month.
December 2022 MCI-EFI Survey Comments from Industry Executive Leadership:
Captive, Small Ticket
“The pent-up demand is still very strong. We see this continuing through Q2 2023.” Jim DeFrank, EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Isuzu Finance of America, Inc
Independent, Small Ticket
“In this economy, cash is king and obtaining financing from traditional funding sources will only get more challenging.” James D. Jenks, CEO, Global Finance and Leasing Services, LLC
Bank, Middle Ticket
“We are at an interesting crossroads as economists predict a looming recession and the Fed continues to raise interest rates to tame the inflation beast. Customers are sharpening the pencil on major expansion opportunities to ensure timing is right for investment. We continue to find solutions to provide value to our customers and markets in this challenging environment.” Michael Romanowski, President, Farm Credit Leasing
ABOUT THE MCI
Why an MCI-EFI?
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 in the MCI-EFI?
The respondents are comprised 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.
How is the MCI-EFI designed?
The survey consists of seven questions and an area for comments, asking the respondents’ opinions about the following:
Current business conditions
Expected product demand over the next four months
Access to capital over the next four months
Future employment conditions
Evaluation of the current U.S. economy
U.S. economic conditions over the next six months
Business development spending expectations
Open-ended question for comment
How may I access the MCI-EFI?
Survey results are posted on the Foundation website, https://www.leasefoundation.org/industry-resources/monthly-confidence-index/, included in the Foundation Forecast eNewsletter, and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.
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ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that propels the equipment finance sector—and its people—forward through industry-specific knowledge, intelligence, and programs that contribute to industry innovation, individual careers, and the overall betterment of the equipment leasing and finance industry. The Foundation is funded through charitable individual and corporate donations. Learn more at www.leasefoundation.org.
Media Contact: Charlie Visconage, [email protected]
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