NEMA Business Conditions Indexes Up Sharply In March
March 30, 2016
NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Conditions Index (EBCI) for current conditions in North America surged in March, climbing to 64.7 from 44.4 the previous month as more panelists reported conditions improved than eroded. Compared to February, a larger share of the survey panel reported that business conditions improved (41% in March compared to 22% in February) and a smaller share reported that they deteriorated (12% in March compared to 33% in February). Forty-seven percent claimed conditions were unchanged in March, similar to the share holding this view a month ago.
The survey’s measure of the intensity of change in electroindustry business conditions also improved markedly in March, swinging to +0.5 from -0.2 in February. Panelists are asked to report intensity of change on a scale ranging from –5 (deteriorated significantly) through 0 (unchanged) to +5 (improved significantly).
The EBCI for future North American conditions also improved in March, rising to 61.8 from 52.8 in February. A slightly larger share of the panel (35%) reported positive expectations than was the case last month (33%), while a substantially smaller share (12%) reported negative expectations than was the case in February (28%). The share expecting to see no change in business conditions over the next six months rose to 53% in March from 39% in February.