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Economy in Brief

Chicago Purchasing Agents' Index Backpedaled
by Tom Moeller April 29, 2005

The April Chicago Purchasing Managers Business Barometer gave back more than half of the prior month's 6.5 point jump. Nevertheless, the level of 65.6 was above Consensus expectations for 62.5 and the average level so far this year is up from 2004.

The employment index gave back less than half the prior month's surge. 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 and the production indexes fell a bit harder.

The index of prices paid fell again to the lowest level since late 2003. 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 April March  April '04 2004 2003 2002
Business Barometer 65.6 69.2 64.2 62.9 54.6 52.8
  New Orders 71.0 76.7 65.8 67.0 58.0 56.2
Prices Paid 66.1 68.2 75.5 80.1 55.8 56.9
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