Chicago Purchasing Managers: Concerns of Higher Prices, Lower Orders & Employment

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The March reading from the Chicago Purchasing Managers index came in at 62.2, and the Bloomberg consensus was listed as 63.0 and that was down from 64.0 in February.  The problem is not just that the overall figure was shy.  The key aspects in the measurement were all heading the wrong way.

  • Prices paid, the inflationary component, jumped to 70.1 from 65.6 in February.
  • Supplier Deliveries only rose 0.1% to 57.8 in March from 57.7 in February.
  • The employment index tanked down to 56.3 in March from 64.2 in February.
  • Even new orders tanked down to 63.3 in March from 69.2 in February.

This is often viewed as the prelude to the ISM data because it is the reading from America’s Heartland.  The correlation is not always there, but this news this morning is far worse than just being short on the headline number.