Business conditions in the manufacturing community ended the year in growth territory. The Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions exceeded the 50-point mark indicating a growth business environment in December for a third consecutive month. While the EBCI for current conditions was still positive, it did slip four points from November’s 56 points to 52 points last month.
December’s EBCI for future North American conditions jumped 10 points to 70 points, its highest level since May 2011, affirming expectations that the business environment six months from now will remain positive. The EBCI is a monthly survey of senior executives at electrical manufacturing firms published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va.
Twenty percent of the NEMA executives reported better conditions in December, identical to November’s share. By contrast, 16% experienced deteriorating conditions in December, double the 8% proportion of the previous month. The vast majority of panelists — 64% — saw no change in conditions in December.
Current and future conditions for the EBCI global indexes were mixed. The Latin America and the Asia-Pacific regions were strongest, with both showing increases for current and future conditions. Latin America remained in growth mode and was up 4.8 points to 54.8 points for current conditions and increased three points to 71.4 points for future conditions.
Asia-Pacific gained 8.3 points for current conditions to 44.4 points and rose 5.3 points to 65.8 points for future conditions. Europe dropped 11.1 points to 16.7 points for current conditions and plateaued at 28.9 points for future conditions.