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posted on 31 March 2016

March 2016 Chicago Purchasing Managers Barometer Up 6 Points to the Highest Since April 2015

The Chicago Business Barometer which recently has spent more time in contraction than expansion.rose into expansion. This survey came in above expectations.

From Bloomberg, the market expected the index between 49.0 to 53.2 (consensus 50.3) versus the actual at 53.6. A number below 50 indicates contraction. Chief Economist of MNI Indicators Philip Uglow said,

The most signficant result from the March survey is the pick-up in the Employment component which has remained weak for much of the past year. Looking through some of the recent volatility, the data are consistent with steady, not spectacular, economic growth in the US.

From ISM Chicago:

The Chicago Business Barometer increased 6.0 points to 53.6 in March, led by sharp bouncebacks in Production and Employment. Four of the five Barometer components increased between February and March, with only Supplier Deliveries declining on the month. Movements in the Barometer and its components have been volatile over the past few months, while trend growth has remained weak. March's positive outturn, though, left the three month trend at the highest for just over a year and the Q1 average at the highest since Q4 2014.

The increase in the Barometer was led by a very sharp rise in Production, which followed an even steeper decline in the previous month. The biggest surprise came from the Employment component which rose above the 50 mark in March and to the highest level since April 2015. This followed a period of relative weakness compared with other activity indicators.

The Chicago ISM is important as it is a window into the national ISM reports which will be issued shortly. When you compare the graph below of the ISM Manufacturing Index against the Chicago PMI (graph above) - there is a general correlation in trends, but not necessarily correlation in values.

source and read the full report: Chicago PMI



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