The latest round of shipment indices from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Arlington, Va., show the electrical industry working through a sluggish recovery, with some indicators off quarter-to-quarter, but only motors showing a decline from prior-year numbers.
Lighting systems. NEMA’s Lighting Systems Index gained traction during 2013 Q4, increasing by 1.8 percent compared to the previous quarter. The index increased 4.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. Index components for emergency lighting, fixtures and miniature lamps posted gains, while ballasts and large lamps retreated quarter-to-quarter. Overall performance during calendar year 2013 placed the index nearly 17 percent above the depressed level of the Great Recession during 2009.
Motors. NEMA’s Motors Shipments Index decreased by 1.7 percent on a quarterly basis during 2013 Q4. Year-over-year performance showed a similar trend, decreasing by 1.6 percent. Inflation-adjusted shipments of fractional horsepower motors declined by 6.5 percent, while integral HP motors registered a gain of 1.4 percent compared to the same period last year. On an annual basis, calendar year 2013 showed a decline of 0.6 percent compared to 2012.
Industrial controls. NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls Index decreased 1.3 percent on a quarterly basis during 2013 Q4. However, year-over-year growth showed an improvement of 2.4 percent. NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls and Adjustable Speed Drives Index, a broader measure of industrial controls demand, posted a decline of 1.2 percent during the quarter, but gained 4.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The index closed calendar year 2013 3.5 percent higher than 2012.