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NEMA’s EBCI Index for Current Conditions Drops Almost 12 Points in October

Nov. 5, 2021
The nearly 12-point negative shift from 57.7 points last month to 46.2 points in October was driven largely by an increase in the share of responses indicating worse conditions during this survey period.
Despite reports of strong demand, supply side problems helped push the EBCI current conditions component to the first sub-50 reading since May 2020, when the electrical industry was just beginning to regain its footing after the pandemic’s onset. The nearly 12-point negative shift from 57.7 points last month to 46.2 points in October was driven largely by an increase in the share of responses indicating worse conditions during this survey period. 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. The majority of respondents continued to note unchanged conditions, but that stable platform eroded slightly this month. The prevailing sentiment was probably best expressed by the comment that, “supplies for products are becoming more difficult to obtain as the year goes on.” The EBCI future conditions index for October remained at 53.8 points. The proportion of responses underlying the overall component measure mirrored September’s as well, with a plurality noting expectations for unchanged conditions in six months. Nearly a third of the NEMA executive panel indicated better conditions ahead, helping maintain the moderately positive outlook suggested by a score in the low to mid 50-point range.