At the end of August, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) released its latest Electroindustry Business Conditions Index (EBCI), which climbed to 58.3 at the end of the month from 57.1 in July. The EBCI has remained at 50 or higher for the past six months, which is seen as a positive sign indicating favorable conditions for expansion in the electrical manufacturing sector. Half of the panelists reported no change in conditions from July, while 64 percent responded as they had in July. Thirty-three percent of the panel reported that they were experiencing better conditions in August as compared to 21percent who had responded in this manner during the July interview. And while the percentage of respondents who reported conditions were worse remained low at 17 percent, it was three points higher than the July percentage of 14. The small increase does warrant a watchful eye.

The survey also measures the intensity of change in the electroindustry, which remained unchanged from July indicating a mean rating holding steady at +0.2. Panelists are asked to rate the intensity change on a scale from -5 (deteriorated significantly) through 0 (unchanged) to +5 (improved significantly).

In terms of forecasting, the Future Conditions Index increased significantly to 66.7 from 57.1 in July. A third of the panelists do not expect any changes in conditions over the next three months, a reporting number that is down from 43 percent in July. The percentage of respondents that anticipate better conditions increased to 50 percent from a previous mark of 36 percent in July, and fewer, 17 percent versus 21 percent in July, expect worse conditions in the next six months. The reports are based on responses from panelists who are senior managers at NEMA member companies. The archive of reports is available on the NEMA website.