After spending nearly all of 2022 in unchanged or even contractionary territory, the current conditions component improved dramatically just two months into 2023 as the February reading added 17 points to January’s score to reach 63.3 points.
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 move toward electrification and infrastructure investments, as illustrated in one comment that described “strong continued demand in EV, utility and data centers,” played a role as did strong orders activity and easing supply chain pressures.
The future conditions component made an even bigger improvement, gaining 20 points to hit 66.7 points in February. A sharp pullback in the proportion of respondents who expected “worse” conditions in six months was the primary driver of the increase, with only 7% sharing that perception, while 40% indicated that “better” conditions lay ahead. Although comments pointed out potential weakness, such as in residential construction, on net they reflected a buoyed outlook compared to recent sentiment.