Slightly less than half of the survey panelists (45%) reported business conditions improved from July to August compared to only 9% claiming they deteriorated. The remaining 45% of panelists reported conditions were largely unchanged. In July, 32% reported conditions improved from the prior month, 23% reported they deteriorated, and 45% indicated they were unchanged.
The EBCI Index is a monthly survey of senior executives at electrical manufacturers published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va. Any score over the 50-point level indicates a greater number of panelists see conditions improving than see them deteriorating.
The EBCI for future North American conditions was unchanged from July at 84.1 points, remaining near the top of its historical range. For the second straight month, 73% of survey respondents said they expect conditions to improve over the next half-year and only 5% reported that they anticipate a near-term deterioration in the business environment.
The chart at the left contains several bullish indicators. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) published monthly by the Institute for Supply Management, Tempe, Ariz., has some good news for industrially minded companies. At 59 points, the Aug. 2014 PMI is the highest reading since March 2011 when the index registered 59.1%. And at $3.44 billion for June 2014, electrical manufacturers’ new orders are also tracking nicely, with a 1.6% increase over May 2014 and a 3.1% increase over June 2014.