Deterioration in North American business conditions slowed in the most recent month, according to NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI). The EBCI for current North American conditions is a monthly survey of senior executives in the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va.
Although the EBCI once again failed to reach 50 points, and therefore signaled industry contraction for a third straight month, the index for current North American conditions increased by nearly nine points from August to 47.9 points. A reading of less than 50 points indicates a softening economy.
In contrast, the six-month outlook turned sharply negative in September, as the EBCI future conditions reading for North America plummeted below 50 points for the first time since this January. The future conditions index slid nearly 15 points on the month, falling to 39.6 points.
Meanwhile, the other world regional indices derived from September’s EBCI survey results each pointed to an expansionary business environment in the latest month, as readings for Latin American, European and Asian conditions came in at 53.1 points, 53.8 points and 60 points, respectively. Indicators for future conditions in each of the three regions were also at or above the 50-point growth threshold.
Year-to-year data for several of the key economic indicators for the electrical market reflect the still-healthy nonresidential construction market and electrical manufacturing sector. Electrical manufacturers’ shipments through June are up 15 percent, according to Department of Commerce statistics. Construction of offices, power plants, educational facilities, lodging and communications facilities through August were all up more than 10 percent year-to-year, according to data from the Department of Commerce.