Confidence in the equipment finance industry in the US has fallen since October amidst increasing pessimism about the economy, according to the Equipment & Leasing Finance Foundation.

The Monthly Confident Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) found that the confidence index declined to 54.6%, with most respondents reporting before the conclusion of the US election.

The ELFF reported that 82.7% of respondents didn’t believe economic conditions would improve over the next six months, split between 17.2% who expected decline, and 65.5% no change, while a further 17.2% expected they would improve.

None of those surveyed rated the US economy as ‘excellent’, and all respondents assessed it as ‘fair’, marking a 6.1% decline in ‘poor’ ratings compared to October.

The industry’s outlook for hiring was more optimistic than in October, with 34.5% of executives reporting that they expected to hire more employees over the next four months, up from 30.3%.

Respondents were once again divided on spending for business development, with more moving away from the neutral ‘no change’ option.

In November, 37.9% of respondents expected they would increase spending on business development, up from 36.4%, while 3.4% expected a decrease, an increase from zero in October.

Valerie Hayes Jester, president, Brandywine Capital Associates said: “Portfolios continue to perform well in spite of moderately increasing delinquency statistics.

“Now the election is over, I hope that small and mid-size business owners decide to move forward on expansion projects that had been stalled due to uncertainty in Washington.”