Last Update: 17-Apr-14 18:13 ET
- The Chicago PMI fell to 55.9 in March from 59.8 in February. The Briefing.com consensus expected the Chicago PMI to increase to 60.1.
- After three consecutive months above 60, the Chicago PMI fell to into the 59 range in January and February. At the time, severe winter weather conditions were blamed for the weakness in the PMI. As temperatures returned to normal, the consensus assumed manufacturing activities would return to their Q4 2013 levels.
- That did not happen.
- A sharp drop in new orders (58.8 from 63.6) led to an overall pullback in manufacturing activities. Production managed to pickup (61.7 from 59.6) slightly in March as manufacturers worked down their backlogs (50.4 from 53.7).
- Employment levels also suffered as the related index dropped to 50.0 from 59.3.
- It is getting clearer that the overall trends point toward winter weather not having much of an impact on the manufacturing sector.
- The Chicago PMI has little overall economic value, and is only watched by the financial markets because it is usually released one day in advance of the similar national ISM manufacturing survey. A significant move in this regional survey will therefore sometimes be seen as having predictive value for the ISM index.