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Port Getty Images 968819844 Thitivong
Port Getty Images 968819844 Thitivong

NEMA’s EBCI Index for December Reflects Mixed Market Sentiment About Future

Jan. 12, 2023

The electroindustry experienced a month of relative stability in December, as the current conditions component edged up 7.7 points from November’s reading to reach 50 points, a level indicating conditions had not changed from the previous month. This marked the fourth time the current conditions had hit the midpoint in the past calendar year.

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 modest uptick in the EBCI was driven by a slight increase in the share of panel members that reported “better” conditions while the majority of panelists noted “unchanged” conditions. Comments indicated that some respondents have seen pockets of growth, with “strong demand in key segments of the electrification transition,” while others noted evident cooling in the residential market and slowing orders activity.

The future conditions component hit 36.4 points in December, falling 13.6 points from November’s reading. Executives raised concerns about the effects of rising interest rates and recession fears but also noted expectations for supply chain and labor market improvement. Despite the contractionary future component score, comments were less definitive than the index number would suggest, with one NEMA exec saying, “The economy is slowing, but we are still expecting growth, just not at the pace we saw in 2022.”