New manufacturing data is out from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and it shows weak manufacturing trends. The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index fell by 0.5% in the month of April to a seasonally adjusted level of 95.9. The revised figure for March was 0.3% higher to 96.4. Note that three of the four index component readings were down from March in today’s report.
The Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index for manufacturing fell by 0.4% in April, while regional output rose 3.3% in April from a year earlier. National output increased by 1.7%. While this report sounds recessionary, it is basically one month old and we have seen more recent data suggesting slightly better numbers.
Steel production was negative, regional auto production was lower and machinery production was lower. Regional resource output was higher. Unfortunately, the one gain is nowhere close to being enough to support the other three large components from the regional Federal Reserve report.
The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index is a monthly estimate composed from manufacturing output from 15 industries in the Seventh Federal Reserve District states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. The index is based as 100 being the positive-negative line, and it is benchmarked based up 2007 manufacturing levels.
The good news for the bulls is that they get to look beyond most of this data. Japan’s and Europe’s central bankers have pledged to keep their efforts up to encourage more growth and stimulus. S&P futures are up about 12 points and DJIA futures are up about 110 points so far this morning.