Investment should remain strong in 2018
After solid growth in 2017, investment in equipment and software should remain strong in 2018 and is projected to expand by 7%, according to the Q3 update to the 2018 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook
released by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation.
Business investment continues to expand at a robust pace, contributing to a likely strong year for the US economy. Overall, the economy is expected to grow 2.8% in 2018 (up from 2.7% in the previous outlook, and significantly better than last year's 2.3% growth rate).
The quarterly report by the Foundation, which is focused on the $1 trillion equipment leasing and finance sector, highlights key trends in equipment investment and places them in the context of the broader U.S. economic climate.
Jeffry D. Elliott, Foundation chairman and senior managing director of Huntington Equipment Finance, says: "Momentum continues to be positive for the equipment finance industry with a forecast including a stable growing capital expenditure environment."
According to the report, capital spending has been solid thus far in 2018, and strengthening economic momentum coupled with elevated business confidence levels should lead to continued investment during the third and fourth quarters. Investment in equipment and software is expected to grow by 7%, and financial stress remains low. Credit supply conditions are mixed as banks are easing standards for C&I and commercial real estate loans while tightening standards for household lending.
While the report predicts 3% annual economic growth in 2018, continued upheaval in US trade policy is a concern.
The Foundation-Keybridge US Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor, which is included in the report, tracks 12 equipment and software investment verticals, finding that investment in most equipment verticals should remain solid in 2018. It anticipates that over the next three to six months, materials handling equipment investment should continue to grow at a moderate pace, while other industrial equipment investment growth has likely peaked and may decelerate.
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation produces the Equipment Leasing & Finance US Economic Outlook
report in partnership with economic and public policy consulting firm Keybridge Research.