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NEMA’s EBCI Index for Current Conditions Sees Solid Increase in January to 59.4 Points

Feb. 6, 2020
At 59.4 points in January, a 9.4-point increase from December’s level, the score marked this component’s highest reading since June 2018.

For the fifth consecutive month, the current conditions component of the EBCI topped or equaled 50 points, which signaled conditions conducive to an expanding electroindustry. At 59.4 points in January, a 9.4-point increase from December’s level, the score marked this component’s highest reading since June 2018. A majority of panelists reported unchanged conditions, but the share of responses noting better conditions increased by 20 percentage points from last month.

The ElectroIndustry Business Conditions Index (EBCI) is a monthly survey of senior executives at electrical manufacturers published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, VA. Any score over the 50-point level indicates a greater number of panelists see conditions improving than see them deteriorating.

Despite the overall manufacturing malaise reflected in the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) 2019 survey results, confidence in the electroindustry remained steady to improved. Taking a slight step back, from 60.5 points in December to 56.3 points in January, the EBCI’s future conditions component nevertheless stayed firmly in expansion territory. Erosion in the proportion of responses expecting better conditions highlighted the undercurrent of uncertainty still at play regarding U.S. international policy.

The percentage of respondents expecting unchanged conditions in six months increased in January, nearly offsetting the pullback in “better” responses. Comments largely, though not uniformly, pointed to expectations for growth as 2020 unfolds.