The national Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI) for current North American conditions fell for a second month in a row in August, dropping to 39.1. A reading of less than 50 is indicative of contractionary conditions.

Moreover, the survey’s measure of the mean degree of change in North American business conditions slipped to –0.4 from –0.3 in July on a scale ranging from –5 (deteriorated significantly) through 0 (stayed the same) to +5 (improved significantly). As recently as June, the mean degree of change was in positive territory at +0.1.

The six-month outlook, on the other hand, continued to provide some cause for optimism. Although the future conditions index for North America retreated slightly from July, it topped the break-even threshold of 50 for a fourth straight month at a solid 54.3.  EC