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

The monthly report by the ELFF reported an index of 53.8, down from 54.8 in August, due to concerns about the upcoming US presidential election.

Thomas Partridge, president of Fifth Third Equipment Finance, said: “I am concerned how companies are responding to the election cycle.”

The proportion of respondents who believe US economic conditions will worsen over the next six months rose to 18.8%. Just 6.3% believe they will improve, and 75% that it will stay the same.

Equipment financers also expressed greater pessimism over business conditions, with 18.8% expecting them to worsen over the next four months, an increase of 8.8% from August.

However, none of the respondents evaluated the US economy as ‘poor’, a decrease from 10% in August, with 100% assessing it to be ‘fair’.

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By GlobalData

None of those surveyed expected access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months to increase, a 13.3% decrease from August.

Employment expectations also decreased in September, with just 21.9% of respondents expecting to hire more over the next four months, down from 40.0% in August.

However, 71.9% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, and 6.3% expected to hire fewer.

Spending on business development has seen a change, with 40.6% saying that their business will increase it over the next six months, up slightly on the 40% seen in August.

The majority, 53.1%, believed there would be no change, down from 60%, while 6.3% believed there would be a decrease in spending.

Thomas Jaschick, president of BB&T Equipment Finance said: “It appears US companies have put their plans for growth on hold pending the outcome of the presidential election.

“Capital investment levels continue at diminished levels. As such, the equipment finance industry will experience a reduction in new business volumes as compared to the last several years.”