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NEMA's EBCI Maintains Blistering Pace in March

April 8, 2021
Last month's NEMA data was not quite up to February's record level of optimism, but it was still a solid showing.

For the tenth consecutive month, the EBCI current conditions component topped 50 points, indicating conditions conducive to growth. March’s reading of 80 points built on an already robust 64.3 points in February.

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.

Electroindustry shipments and new orders data reported by the Census Bureau buttressed this result as both have grown rapidly in the two most recent monthly reports. Some panelists pointed to slower or delayed activity, but most noted improvements in the economic environment and on the pandemic front.

Despite the steady expansion of the EBCI’s current component, the future conditions component has managed to stay ahead of its contemporary counterpart for the last four months. In March, even though it stepped back a bit from an all-time high of 96.4 points in February, the six months ahead reading remained at a more than respectable 90 points.

NEMA execs’ comments largely focused on the pending release of pent-up demand as pandemic restrictions are likely to be loosened further over the next few months.