Equipment leasing and finance industry confidence has remained steady in July, according to ‘Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry’ (MCI-EFI). 

The MCI-EFI is released monthly by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation and surveys executives from the equipment finance sector in order to assess prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future.

In the July 2016 release it was reported that confidence in the equipment finance market is 52.5%, remaining near-steady with the June index of 52.3

Anthony Cracchiolo, president and chief executive officer, U.S. Bank Equipment Finance, said, “The industry continues to be stable and positioned for growth as the U.S. economy improves.”

“However, challenges remain as the expansion remains slow and low interest rates continue to apply pressure to the industry’s bottom line.”

Respondents overwhelmingly believed market conditions with remain the same. When asked about business conditions over the next 4 months, 75.8% predicted no change.

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By GlobalData

The situation was similar for access to capital for equipment acquisitions (78.8%), employee hires (63.6%), demand for leases (57.6%), and business development spending (60.6%) over the same time period.

The industry took a similar view when assessing US economy, with 100% of respondents assessing it as ‘fair’, and 78.8% expecting no change in economic conditions over the next 6 months.

However, there are fears for the future, following slow growth in the US market, and uncertainty prompted by Brexit and the undecided US presidential election.

William H. Besgen, senior advisor and vice chairman emeritus, Hitachi Capital America, said: “There is definitely uncertainty given the international effects that Brexit has had on exchange and bond rates. The question is how it will affect the U.S. market, which continues to grow ahead, albeit at a slow pace.”

Valerie Hayes Jester, president, Brandywine Capital Associates, said: “Current events here and abroad make us concerned about demand for the next two quarters. I think our average customer will wait for the outcome of the election before making any decisions to expand their business or replace equipment.”