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Economy in Brief

MAPI Business Outlook Survey Fell Again  
by Tom Moeller April 17, 2008

The 1Q '08 Composite Business Index published by the Manufacturers' Alliance/MAPI fell to 57 from 64 in 4Q '07. The latest reading was the lowest since 4Q '06.

During the last ten years there has been a 69% correlation between the Composite Index Level and quarterly growth in US factory sector output.

The current orders index fell sharply to the lowest since 2003. The 1Q export orders index also fell moderately to its lowest level since mid-2005. During the last ten years there has been a 59% correlation between the export orders index and quarterly growth in real US exports.

The profit margins index also fell to its lowest level since 3Q '05.Capital spending intentions for the coming year were down to the lowest level since 2006. During the last ten years there has been a 75% correlation between the capital spending index and q/q growth in business investment.

The survey of 60 senior financial executives representing a broad range of manufacturing industries reflects the views on current & future business conditions. The business outlook index is a weighted sum of shipments, backlogs, inventories, and profit margin indexes.

For the latest US Business Outlook from the MAPI click here.

Manufacturers' Alliance/MAPI Survey 1Q '08 4Q '07 1Q '07 2007 2006 2005
Composite Business Index 57 64 58 63 66 70
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