In the midst of volatile swings in the stock market, rapid inflation and a Federal Reserve campaign to knock down rising prices through swift and steep interest rate hikes, the electroindustry has settled into a position of relative calm, according to EBCI survey responses. For the third time in seven months, the current conditions index came in at 50 points in September, indicating that conditions were unchanged from the previous 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.
Although the future conditions component revealed a lessened sense of pessimism in September, the 42.9-point reading was still suggestive of softening in the near future. The forward-looking indicator hit bottom at 21.9 points in June and has been steadily improving since that time, but with a plurality of respondents expecting “worse” conditions in six months, the indicator does not yet point to expected growth ahead, just less of a downturn. Among the comments, concerns about rising interest rates mixed with some optimism about opportunities provided by recent federal legislation to fund infrastructure projects.