Although NEMA’s economists noticed some concern about the fleeting nature of optimism regarding business conditions, the current conditions component expanded to 64.3 points in February, compared to 60 points 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.
This month NEMA asked the first in a series of occasional questions about matters that may affect business conditions. The inaugural topic concerned the effect that congestion at ports of entry in the U.S. had on panel members’ businesses. Nearly 43% reported little or no effect, but a substantial minority of almost 36% reported that the bottlenecks had affected their businesses a lot or a great deal. One respondent indicated having to switch to air freight because of shipping stagnation.
The smattering of responses suggesting unchanged conditions ahead did not keep the future component from hitting a new series high of 96.4 points in February, up three points from previous record that was set just last month.