NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index for current conditions slid by more than 20 points from the near-term high of 76.5 reached in March of this year. As recently as last month, the current conditions index topped 60 but fell 7.2 points to reach July’s value of 53.3. Most of the change came from a larger share of respondents – 67% in July versus 58% last month – who reported unchanged conditions. The share of those who noted that conditions are worse increased by only 2 points to 13 percent this month. Some respondents mentioned sluggishness in key markets, while others noted improving economic conditions overall and the seasonal boost typical of summertime.
The future conditions index fell even more dramatically than the current index. In January 2017, the six-month ahead index stood at 91.7 but dropped 35 percentage points since that zenith. July’s reading clocked in at 56.7 points, down from 68.4 last month.