The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) recently released a new quarterly update to its 2012 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook. The report, which is focused on the $628 billion equipment leasing and finance industry, forecasts equipment investment and capital spending in the United States and evaluates the effects of various related and external factors in play currently and into the foreseeable future. According to the Q4 outlook, projected growth in equipment and software investment for 2012 is 6.7 percent, down from the 2011 growth rate of 11.0 percent. Growth in equipment and software investment slowed to an annualized rate of 4.8 percent in Q2, down from 5.4 percent in Q1. The report finds that the recent slowdown in durable goods shipments indicates that equipment investment continued to lose momentum in Q3, but should remain positive — albeit at a decelerated pace compared to 2011 — through the rest of 2012.
William G. Sutton, CAE, president of the Foundation and president and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), said, “While growth in equipment and software investment is continuing, the pace of growth has decelerated. This finding aligns with the ELFA’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, which indicates that equipment finance activity is still growing, but at a slower rate than in 2011. Some sectors, including transportation and construction, continue to improve. However, economic and political uncertainty, especially in the area of tax and budget policy, continues to hamper business investment, as reported both in the Q4 outlook report and the Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index.”
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