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Monday, March 31, 2014

Chicago PMI declines to 55.9

by Calculated Risk on 3/31/2014 09:45:00 AM

From the Chicago ISM:

March 2014:

The Chicago Business Barometer decreased 3.9 points in March to 55.9, the lowest level since August, led by a decline in New Orders and a sharp fall in Employment. ...

Although New Orders remained firm above the 50 breakeven level, they eased for the second consecutive month pointing to a slight softening in demand. Like the Barometer, New Orders posted the lowest reading since August. Order Backlogs also decreased, to their lowest level since September.

Employment, the second biggest contributor to the Barometer’s decline, decreased sharply in March, erasing nearly all of February’s double digit rise.

Commenting on the MNI Chicago Report, Philip Uglow, Chief Economist of MNI Indicators said, “March saw a significant weakening in activity following a five month spell of firm growth. It’s too early to tell, though, if this is the start of a sustained slowdown or just a blip.”

“Panellists, though, were optimistic about the future. Asked about the outlook for demand over the next three months, the majority of businesses said they expected tosee a pick-up.” he added.
emphasis added
This was below the consensus estimate of 58.5.