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Electroindustry Business Conditions Index


​The EBCI indexes are based on the results of a monthly survey of senior managers at NEMA member companies and are designed to provide a measure of changes in the business environment facing electrical equipment manufacturers.

For more information, e-mail NEMA's Business Information Services.

*Please note that no EBCI reports were issued in July, August, and September 2013.

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2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014

October 2017

The current conditions component of NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index edged down from 68.8 points in September to 64.7 this month, a reading still well within the range considered to be indicative of expansion in the electroindustry. The largest shift from last month came from the share of respondents that noted worse conditions, which increased by more than five percentage points to 18 percent in October. The proportion of panel members reporting better conditions fell from 50percent in September to 47 this month, while the percentage of those indicating unchanged conditions similarly declined from 38 to 35 percent.​ EBCI results 20171025nm.pdf

September 2017

NEMA’s Business Confidence current conditions index improved for the second month in a row, with September’s value edging up three points to 68.8. The higher score is attributable exclusively to sentiment shifting away from “unchanged.” The share of panel members that reported better conditions edged up six points to 50 percent in September while the proportion that saw unchanged conditions was six percentage points fewer than in August. The segment of respondents noting “worse” conditions remained stable at 13 percent. EBCI results 20170927nm.pdf

August 2017

​The current conditions index rebounded 12.3 points in August to 65.6, erasing last month’s decline. The August reading is still 10.9 points below the recent high of 76.5 reached in March. The stronger reading resulted from a larger proportion of respondents – 44 percent in August versus 20 percent in July – that reported better conditions. The share of panel members that noted worsening conditions remained flat at 13 percent. Meanwhile 44 percent responded that conditions were unchanged in August compared to 67 percent in July. Some of those surveyed cited strong demand and solid fundamentals, while others reported declines in industrial business lines. EBCI results 20170830nm.pdf

July 2017

​The current conditions index slid by more than 20 points from the near-term high of 76.5 reached in March of this year. As recently as last month, the current conditions index topped 60 but fell 7.2 points to reach July’s value of 53.3. Most of the change came from a larger share of respondents – 67 percent in July versus 58 percent last month – who reported unchanged conditions. The share of those who noted that conditions are worse increased by only 2 points to 13 percent this month. Some respondents mentioned sluggishness in key markets, while others noted improving economic conditions overall and the seasonal boost typical of summertime. EBCI results 20170726nm.pdf

June 2017

The current conditions index’s 10-point slide from 70.6 in May to 60.5 this month brings it to the lowest level since November 2016. Nevertheless, because it remains above 50, the index value is still in the expansionary range. The share of those reporting better conditions dropped by 15 percentage points from May to June, but most of that sentiment shifted to “unchanged” as that component jumped 11 points from 47 percent last month to 58 percent in June. The proportion of panel members noting worse conditions edged up to 11 percent from 6 percent in May.​ EBCI results 20170628nm.pdf

May 2017

The current and future confidence indexes moved in lockstep for the third consecutive month, each pulling back nominally from 73.5 last month to 70.6 in May. At this level the indexes remain well into expansionary range, even as the current conditions responses suggest a movement toward a sense of status quo with the six percentage point decline in those registering better conditions – from 53 percent in April to 47 percent now – taken up entirely by the six point increase, to 47 percent, in those seeing unchanged conditions. Those witnessing worse conditions held steady at 6 percent. Comments were largely positive, with a dash of uncertainty about specific end use sectors including the industrial and utility markets.​ EBCI results 20170531nm.pdf

April 2017

​For the second month in a row, the current and future conditions index values matched up exactly, as both edged down from 76.5 in March to April’s reading of 73.5. Although the topline values were identical, the underlying response patterns diverged. In the current conditions measure, 53 percent of the respondents reported better conditions this month, down from 59 percent in March. On the flip side, the share of panel members noting unchanged conditions increased by 6 percentage points to 41 percent in April, while those seeing worse conditions held steady at 6 percent. EBCI results 20170426nm.pdf

March 2017

In moving from 72.2 last month to 76.5 in March, the NEMA Electroindustry Business Confidence current conditions index reached its highest level since September 2005. Although some executives remarked on confusion in Washington and flashes of social unrest, signs of a strengthening economy noted by others were apparently widespread among panel members. The share of those indicating better business conditions increased by 9 percentage points to 59 percent this month, and all of that increase came as a result of a 9 percentage point drop in the “unchanged” conditions category, from 44 percent in February to 35 percent in March. Like last month, only 6 percent reported worse conditions.​ EBCI results 20170329nm.pdf

February 2017

At an aggregate level business confidence remained unchanged in February, hitting the same 72.2 mark as in January. A sense of wait-and-see has crept into some of the comments, resulting in 11 point drops in the percentage of respondents reporting both better and worse conditions, along with a 22 point increase in the share of those who see current conditions as unchanged. Despite the internal churning, the current conditions index remains quite firmly in the expansionary range. EBCI results 20170222nm.pdf

January 2017

​Mixed in with guarded optimism, panel comments also noted some market softness and uncertainty about the policy course being charted by Washington. Nevertheless, buoyed by a surge of respondents reporting better conditions the current conditions index moved to 72.2, which is the highest reading in nearly 4 years. Most of the movement came from fewer panelists reporting unchanged conditions: only 22 percent in January versus 44 percent last month. Although some of that exodus resulted in a 6 point increase in those seeing worse conditions, 61 percent registered better conditions now compared to 44 percent in December. EBCI results 20170125nm.pdf

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