As the U.S. economy continues to slowly make gains, confidence in the equipment leasing and financing industry has reached a level not seen in more than two years. The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation recently released results from the January 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry and found industry leaders are optimistic for what’s to come this year. According to the report, overall confidence in the equipment financing sector has increased to an index reading of 64.9, up from 55.8 in December and reflecting the highest levels of optimism since 2012.
The index, which is measured by gathering responses from 50 decision-makers in the equipment financing sector, showed that executives anticipate further upticks in leasing rates. Approximately 36 percent of survey participants said they expect demand for capital expenditure leases and loans to increase during first quarter 2014, up from 15.2 percent of respondents who said the same in December.
Furthermore, executives expressed a positive outlook for the economy in general – 41.7 percent of respondents said they believe national economic conditions will improve over the next six months, significantly higher than the 24.2 percent of respondents who responded similarly last month. Approximately 55 percent of participants said they expect the state of the economy to remain the same throughout the same time period, while 2.6 percent said they expect economic conditions to decline.
Perhaps most significantly, executives anticipate their own business conditions will improve – 33 percent said they expect to see gains over the next four months, up from 12 percent in December.
Equipment financing and leasing options have become increasingly popular for small-business owners, particularly as entrepreneurs continue to face uncertain economic times. Rather than spending large lump sums on new equipment, small-business owners can try leasing from companies like National Funding. Leasing offers the flexibility to test out new technology before making large-scale financial commitments, allowing individuals to make well-informed decisions.