The equipment leasing and finance industry is a $628 billion industry that can be an interesting barometer on activity. The industry’s association released its November 2011 Monthly Confidence Index on Friday and confidence in the equipment finance market is 57.4, up from the October index of 50.7, indicating an increase in optimism about business activity from leasing and finance execs, despite ongoing concerns about the global economic situation.
When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 18.9% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 9.8% in October. 75.7% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, a decrease from 80.5% in October. 2.0% of executives believe business conditions will worsen, a decrease from 9.8% in October. Some of the other highlights of the survey are:
- 24.3% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures will increase over the next four months, an increase from 17.1% in October. 70.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 68.3% the previous month. 5.4% believe demand will decline, down from 14.6% who believed so in October.
- 27.0% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 12.2% in October. 73.0% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, a decrease from 87.8% the previous month. No survey respondents expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from October.
- When asked, 16.2% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, up from 14.6% in October. 75.7% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, a decrease from 78% last month, while 8.1% expect fewer employees, an increase from 7.3% in October.
- In November, 32.4% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, up from 26.8% in October. 67.6% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, down from 68.3% last month, and no one believes there will be a decrease in spending, down from 4.9% one who believed so last month.