Confidence in the equipment finance market decreased slightly  from February, according to The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s March 2013 Monthly Confidence Index. The March Index is 58.0, compared to February’s 58.7. Analysts say this reflects a leveling off in industry participants’ optimism after two consecutive increases.

The index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $725 billion equipment finance sector.

“In the short term we see continued demand for equipment at a lessened pace than we did in the fourth quarter of 2012,” said survey respondent Valerie Hayes Jester, president, Brandywine Capital Associates, Inc. “Until the issues in Washington regarding the budget are resolved, we don't expect the economy to move forward at a pace that sustains strong demand for equipment acquisition.”