The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released a second quarter update to its 2021 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook forecasting 11.2 percent growth in equipment and software investment, and 5.7 percent growth in gross domestic product this year.

The report cites increased vaccination rates as a driver for greater equipment and software investment. Businesses will also be attempting to adapt to a postpandemic normal. The report also highlights a few important factors, including that equipment and software investment growth experienced a 21 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2020, which was a strong start to 2021. US manufacturing continued to grow in early 2021 because demand remained strong for both consumer and business goods. This demand is expected to remain strong, but supply chain backlogs and rising input prices could be a challenge. The report notes that issues with higher inflation, ongoing labor market recovery, and the emergence of new virus strains that could reduce vaccine effectiveness could all play a role in hampering market growth.

Released in conjunction with the Economic Outlook report, the Foundation-Keybridge US Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor tracks 12 equipment and software investment verticals. According to this report, agricultural machinery investment, material handling equipment investment, and all other industrial equipment investment should stay positive or return to positive territory over the next 3 to 6 months, year over year. For more info and to download the reports, visit www. leasefoundation.org. The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, Washington, DC, is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the equipment nance sector, providing knowledge, intelligence, and programs for the industry and is funded through individual and corporate donations. (6-21)