Confidence in the equipment finance market is 61.0, an increase from the July index of 59.4, and the fourth consecutive increase, according to the Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry(MCI-EFI) released by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent William Verhelle, Chief Executive Officer, First American Equipment Finance, said, “We see continued, gradual economic improvement in equipment finance activity across all our markets. Large, creditworthy obligors continue to finance major equipment acquisitions to retain flexibility and preserve capital.  Our portfolio performance couldn't be much better, with record low charge-offs and delinquencies.  We remain cautiously optimistic about the remainder of 2013 and 2014.”

August 2013 Survey Results:

When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 32.4% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 25% in July.  67.6% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, down from 71.9% in July.  No one believes business conditions will worsen, down from 3.1% the previous month.

23.5% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, up from 15.6% in July.  76.5% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, down from 81.3% the previous month.  No one believes demand will decline, down from 3.1% in July.

20.6% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 21.9% in July. 79.4% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, an increase from 78.1% the previous month. No one expects “less” access to capital, unchanged from July.

When asked, 29.4% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 25% in July.  64.7% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down from 68.8% last month.  5.9% expect fewer employees, down from 6.3% of respondents who expected fewer employees in July.

91.2% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S.economy as “fair,” up from 90.6% last month.  8.8% rate it as “poor,” down slightly from 9.4% in July.

26.5% of survey respondents believe that U.S.economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 34.4% in July.  70.6% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S.economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 62.5% in July.  2.9% believe economic conditions in the U.S.will worsen over the next six months, down slightly from 3.1% who believed so last month.

In August, 29.4% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 31.3% in July.  70.6% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 68.8% last month.  No one believes there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from July.