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Economy in Brief

Chicago Purchasing Agents' Index Up Again
by Tom Moeller February 28, 2005

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Business Barometer rose for the second month and increased to 62.7 in February, beating Consensus expectations for a decline to 60.2.

During the last ten years there has been a 67% correlation between the level of the Chicago Business Barometer and the three month change in factory sector industrial output. That correlation has risen to 82% during the last five years.

The employment index surged 4.9 points to 57.7, the highest level since November. During the last ten years there has been a 78% correlation between the level of the employment index and the three month change in factory sector employment. The new orders index rose to the highest level since October.

The index of prices paid fell sharply to the lowest level in nearly a year. During the last ten years there has been an 86% correlation between the Chicago price index and the three month change in the "core" intermediate goods PPI.

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, SA Feb Jan Feb '04 2004 2003 2002
Business Barometer 62.7 62.4 64.7 62.9 54.6 52.8
  New Orders 68.5 65.8 66.4 67.0 58.0 56.2
Prices Paid 70.1 76.5 67.7 80.1 55.8 56.9
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