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Confidence Indexes Soar in Spite of Some Year End Weakness and Lingering Uncertainty about Policy Environment

01/25/2017 2:00PMSign-up to receive press releases.

ROSSLYN, Va.—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.

The survey’s measure of the intensity of change in electroindustry business conditions continued to move further into  positive territory, as the mean rating increased from +0.4 in December to +0.6 this month. Even the median measure, usually stuck on 0, increased to 1. Panelists are asked to report intensity of change on a scale ranging from –5 (deteriorated significantly) through 0 (unchanged) to +5 (improved significantly). 

Optimism for 6 months out was unblemished by even one respondent who expected worse conditions. In December, 6 percent had expressed misgivings. Combining the absence of expectations for worse conditions with 11 percent fewer responses foreseeing unchanged conditions boosted the future index to a near-record high of 91.7. 

Click here for the complete January 2017 report.


The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 350 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers that make safe, reliable, and efficient products and systems. Our combined industries account for 360,000 American jobs in more than 7,000 facilities covering every state. Our industry produces $106 billion shipments of electrical equipment and medical imaging technologies per year with $36 billion exports.

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Tracy Cullen


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