Friday, March 30, 2012

Misc: Chicago PMI declines to 62.2, Consumer Sentiment improves

by Bill McBride on 3/30/2012 09:55:00 AM

• Chicago PMI: The overall index declined to 62.2 in March from 64.0 in February. This was below consensus expectations of 63.0 and indicates slower growth in March. Note: any number above 50 shows expansion. From the Chicago ISM:

The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the March Chicago Business Barometer paused after February's ten month high. While slowing, the Chicago Business Barometer marked its fifth month above 60, a 2-1/2 year period of expansion and trend data improved. Increases were seen in five of eight Business Activity Indexes, highlighted by significant advances in Prices Paid and Inventories, and a notable lengthening in lead times for Production Material.
Consumer SentimentThe final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March increased to 76.2, up from the preliminary reading of 74.3, and up from the February reading of 75.3.

Click on graph for larger image.

This was above the consensus forecast of an increase to 74.7. Overall sentiment is still fairly weak, although sentiment has rebounded from the decline last summer and is near the high since collapsing in late 2007 and early 2008.

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