Econintersect: The Chicago Institute for Supply Management (aka Purchasing Managers) reported improving conditions for March 2011, just slightly less good then February. Still, this index is showing expanding economic activity for the eighteenth consecutive month.
Highlights from the report:
- PRICES PAID resumed its upward trend;
- ORDER BACKLOGS reached its highest point since February 1974;
- EMPLOYMENT grew to its second-highest level since February 1973.
- Lead times reported for PRODUCTION MATERIEL and CAPITAL EQUIPMENT lengthened while MRO SUPPLIES remained static.
Econintersect warns that hard data does not support the survey’s conclusion that there has been 18 continuous months of expansion – however, overall economic trend lines have been positive when reviewing the last 18 month period.
In a separate release (forecast here), Econintersect has forecast flat economic growth for April 2011.