Yesterday, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) released its latest Electroindustry Business Conditions Index (EBCI), which climbed to 64.7 in March from 44.4 in February. The EBCI had previously dipped from 50 in January.

Compared to February, more panelists reported an improvement in business conditions in March, at 41 percent versus 22 percent. Similarly, fewer cited a deterioration of business conditions for the period, with 12 percent doing so in March compared to 33 percent in February. Forty-seven percent of panelists said conditions were unchanged in March, roughly on par with the prior month.

The survey also measures the intensity of change in the electroindustry, which increased by 0.5 points in March from -0.2 in February. Panelists are asked to rate the intensity change on a scale from -0.5 (deteriorated significantly) to +5 (improved significantly).

Looking ahead, the EBCI for North American industry business conditions over the next six months rose to 61.8 in March from 52.8 in February. At 35 percent, the number of panelists in March reporting positive expectations for the forthcoming period is slightly higher than the one-third indicating so in February. Only 12 percent reported negative expectations in March, down from 28 percent in February. Slightly more than half of respondents, however, expect no change.

The report is based on responses from 18 panelists who are senior managers at NEMA member companies.

Check back next month to read the April report.