NEMA's Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American business conditions climbed nearly 13 points in November, its third straight monthly increase, to 58.3 points. The EBCI Index reached its highest mark for current conditions since April. In addition, more respondents than not reported an improved business environment for the first time since June.

The EBCI Index, a monthly survey of senior executives at electrical manufacturers published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., is now comfortably over 50-point level indicating an equal number of panelists see conditions improving as see them deteriorating.

Nearly 28% of panelists reported better business conditions in November compared to the previous month, an improvement from just over 18% in October while only about 11% reported worse conditions, down considerably from 27% the previous month. The majority of the panel — more than 61% — reported that conditions had not changed from October to November.

The EBCI for future North American conditions posted a modest retreat of 2.7 points in November, slipping to 61.1 from 65.9 a month ago, but remained well above the 50-point threshold. While 44% of panelists said they expect conditions to improve in the future, up from 36% in October, more than 22% now expect them to falter, as opposed to less than 5% a month ago.

The EBCI Indexes for future conditions in Latin America and Europe also slipped, dropping 7.2 points to 70.8 points and 4.1 points to 50 points, respectively. The Asia-Pacific Region showed the biggest increase in future conditions, increasing 6.4 points to 66.7 points.