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posted on 31 March 2017

March 2017 Chicago Purchasing Managers Barometer Strongest Quarterly Performance Since Q4 2014

The Chicago Business Barometer marginally improved and remained in expansion. This survey came in within expectations.

Analyst Opinion of Chicago PMI

The results of this survey continue to agree with district Federal Reserve manufacturing surveys - and aligns with the overall trend of the ISM manufacturing survey.

From Bloomberg / Econoday, the market expected the index between 55.0 to 59.0 (consensus 57.1) versus the actual at 57.7. A number below 50 indicates contraction. Shaily Mittal, senior economist at MNI Indicators stated,

The March Chicago report echoed last month's upbeat tone of general business conditions. Though the Barometer was little changed, the underlying trend for many key indicators shows improvement, with a shift away from firms reporting worsening to that of remaining at the same level as last month.

From ISM Chicago:

The MNI Chicago Business Barometer was broadly stable at 57.7 in March, following a hefty rise of 7.1 points in February to 57.4.

Following a strong February, firms remained upbeat this month, with the increase led by four of the five components of the Barometer, as only Employment receded. March's positive outturn left the Q1 calendar quarter average at 55.1, the highest level since Q4 2014.

Demand continued to grow, rising for the second month in a row. New orders rose by 1.2 points, to touch a fourmonth high. To keep pace with rising demand, Production also increased, up 1.4 points to a 14-month high of 61.7 in March. Order Backlogs rose for the third consecutive month, but remained just below the breakeven level, where it has sat for the previous three months. Suppliers took longer to deliver key inputs, with the respective indicator 1.6 points higher at 54.4 in March. Employment slipped back into contraction after rising above 50 briefly last month.

z chicago pmi.png

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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