Econintersect: Although quantitatively the Chicago Purchasing Managers say business is less good in April 2011, it could be due to getting out of the wrong side of the bed – this is the nature of opinion surveys. Overall, respondents say both new orders and backlog are still growing strongly – just almost immeasurably less.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the CHICAGO BUSINESS BAROMETER slackened but remained strong, indicating expanding economic activity for the nineteenth consecutive month. In response to special questions about the Japanese disaster, panelists reported minimal impact.
- NEW ORDERS and ORDER BACKLOGS eased following historic highs early in the year;
- PRODUCTION and INVENTORIES declined;
- Breadth of EMPLOYMENT expansion relaxed from a 27-year high .
- Lead times reported for PRODUCTION MATERIEL and CAPITAL EQUIPMENT decreased while leadtimes for MRO SUPPLIES remained firm.
Please compare this to the Chicago Fed’s March 2011 data: Chicago Area Manufacturing Continues to Outperform Overall USA Industrial Production in March 2011