53502638 - truck with oil tank driving on asphaltGoods and services have become more expensive this year in the U.S., a sign of inflation that has kept the economy front and center in the news cycle of 2022. But what exactly do these trends mean for equipment finance and businesses seeking to expand or upgrade their fleets? We dug into some of the latest industry reports on the topic for perspective. Overall, leaders in equipment finance anticipate demand for large equipment will persist, even though things are more expensive. Additionally, investment in specific categories will be especially strong, such as in the railroad and mining sectors. Further, experts anticipate equipment financing organizations will adapt to evolving economic needs, particularly as more companies need increasingly digitized equipment and robotics to deliver on customer expectations. Trend 1: Large equipment demand will persist amid inflation For companies that use large equipment in their day-to-day operation, their reliance on high-quality machinery isn’t going anywhere. That’s true even in an environment of inflation. Creativity and alternative financing options might be necessary, and equipment financing providers will be ready to serve. In August, the most recent month for which data points were available, confidence in the future of equipment financing rose among executives surveyed compared to the previous month. “When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 14.8% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months,” notes the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index report. Leaders also reported they anticipate steady continued demand for equipment ahead. Trend 2: Key economic sectors will increase their equipment investment Changes in the marketplace often mean shifts in which industries are making the greatest investment in heavy equipment and other products. During the second half of 2022, the mining and railroad industries are expected to be among the bright spots for equipment financing, according to a recent Foundation report. In mining and oil, investment is up 7.2% compared to year-ago levels. “Mining and oilfield machinery investment continues to benefit from a substantial supply-demand imbalance that has resulted in calls for accelerating new investment in domestic energy output,” the report authors note. Meanwhile, ongoing supply chain pressures and the need to transport energy-based commodities such as coal and oil “will likely mean solid growth over the next six months.” The report notes investment in this sector is up 15% from a year ago. Trend 3: Companies will diversify the types of large equipment they buy to meet the market As machinery becomes more integrated with cyberspace, look for companies to diversify their investments in heavy equipment as well as robotics. These products and technologies—and others like them—will help businesses remain competitive in the digital age. Additionally, they will enable companies to keep delivering important services amid labor shortages and in a way that’s complementary to the existing workforce to increase productivity. Further, “ongoing remote/hybrid work arrangements will drive demand for new types of equipment and software as businesses continue to adapt to the ‘new normal,’” adds the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association in a 2022 trends analysis. Whatever drivers are most influencing your company’s equipment financing needs, Commercial Funding Partners is here to help. We keep businesses on target for success by listening to their needs and developing creative options together to ensure you have the machinery you need to serve your customers. Call us today at 801-545-4000 or visit us online to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you close the 2022 calendar year on a strong note.