NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American business conditions extended its late-year rally in December, climbing for a fourth month in a row with a 5.6-point increase to 63.9 points.
The index, based on a monthly survey of senior executives at electrical manufacturers published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., reached its highest mark since March, with more respondents than not reporting an improved business environment for the second consecutive month. Any reading over 50 points indicates that panelists see the electrical market’s economic conditions improving.
One-third of NEMA panelists reported better business conditions in December compared to the previous month, an improvement from nearly 28% in November. At the same time, less than 6% reported worse conditions, down from 11% the previous month. In each of the last two months a majority of the panel — more than 61% — reported that economic conditions had not changed from the previous period.
The EBCI for future North American conditions also gained ground in December, jumping more than 11 points to 72.2 points, its highest reading since April, following on the heels of a modest retreat the previous month. The Asia-Pacific and European EBCI Indexes for future global conditions also showed solid progress, increasing 6.4 points to 73.1 points and 4.2 points to 54.2 points, respectively. However, Europe’s EBCI for current conditions took a beating in December, dropping 16.6 points to 29.2 points. Latin America’s EBCI for current conditions was unchanged at 45.5 points and the Asia-Pacific index for the current conditions was also unchanged at 50 points.