Electrical manufacturers aren’t as bullish as they were earlier in the year, according to the most recent Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va. The EBCI is NEMA’s monthly survey of electrical manufacturers.
NEMA’s monthly EBCI indicators of current and expected North American business conditions retreated slightly in November. The EBCI for current North American conditions declined to 39.6 points from 44 points in October, the fourth consecutive month in which it failed to reach the 50-point threshold indicative of industry expansion.
Meanwhile, the EBCI for future North American conditions, a measure of executives’ expectations for conditions six months ahead, dipped to 33.3 points from 35.4 points last month.
The ongoing unwinding of the record-breaking U.S. housing market, one of the critical end-markets for electrical equipment, has clearly taken a toll on industry sentiment in the past several months.
At the same time, the business landscape is far from total gloom. EBCI panelists saw strength in both nonresidential construction and power equipment markets. Moreover, most of the manufacturing sector remains healthy, though growth has moderated from the rapid rates seen earlier this year.
In global markets, the current conditions indicator for Latin America deteriorated markedly, dropping to 42.3 points from 60 points in October. The future Latin American conditions measure was much more promising, remaining well above the 50-point growth threshold at 57.7 points. The EBCI for current European conditions dropped to 60 points from 70.8 points a month ago. The indicator for European future conditions rebounded to 55 points from last month’s reading of 50 points.
The EBCI indicators for both current and future conditions in the Asia/Pacific region stumbled in November relative to October, declining to 54.2 points from 60 points and to 50 points from 66.7 points, respectively.