NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions topped the 50-point mark indicating a growth environment for the seventh consecutive month in May.
However, the EBCI has slipped over the last few months as the share of panelists reporting improvements has trended downward while the share reporting declines has trended upward. The index measured 52.3 points in May, down 4.8 points from 57.1 points in April, and down from a year-to-date high of 69.6 points in February. The EBCI is a monthly survey of senior executives with member firms of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va.
Twenty-seven percent of panelists reported conditions improved in May, down from 30 percent in April. Meanwhile 23 percent of panelists reported conditions deteriorated in May.
The six-month outlook remains optimistic, but it also dropped. The EBCI for future North American conditions also dipped in May, declining 3.9 points to 81.8 points. Nonetheless readings above 80 points are exceptionally strong, having been recorded in only 23 months in the decade-long history of the survey. In May, more than 68 percent of the panelists said they expected conditions to improve during the next six months, while less than five percent anticipated deterioration during that time period.
Conditions were mixed in the global EBCI indexes. For current economic conditions, Latin America slipped 9.3 points to 58.3 points, and Europe was down 13.3 points to 36.7 points. The Asia-Pacific market increased 6.3 points to 59.4 points for current conditions and 14.5 points for future conditions. Latin America also saw an increase in future conditions, gaining 5.9 points to 82.4 points, but the European market slipped 5.7 points to 64.3 points.