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Economy in Brief

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index Rises
by Tom Moeller  May 31, 2017

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Business Barometer for May rose to 59.4 following an increase to 58.3 in April. It was the highest index level since November 2014. The latest reading surpassed expectations for 57.5 in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Readings above 50 indicate growth, while those below 50 show declines in activity levels.

Haver Analytics constructs an ISM-Adjusted Index using the Chicago numbers, comparable to the overall ISM index to be released tomorrow. The Haver figure also rose to 59.4, similarly the highest level since November 2014. During the last ten years, there has been a 61% correlation between this adjusted Chicago Purchasing Managers index and real GDP growth.

Most of the component series improved this month. The production, order backlog, inventory and supplier delivery indexes each rose. The new orders series, however, retraced most of its April increase.

The employment index strengthened to the highest level since October 2014, and continued to register positive job growth. Twenty-eight percent (NSA) of respondents reported higher payroll levels while 16% reported lower employment. During the last ten years, there has been a 74% correlation between the employment index and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

The prices paid barometer eased slightly to the lowest level in six months. An unchanged 35% of respondents paid higher prices while nine percent reported lower prices, compared to 11% one year earlier.

The MNI Chicago Report is produced by MNI/Deutsche Borse Group in partnership with ISM-Chicago. The survey covers a sample of over 200 purchasing professionals in the Chicago area with a monthly response rate of about 50%. The ISM-Adjusted headline index is calculated by Haver Analytics using these data to construct a figure with the ISM methodology. Summary data are contained in Haver's USECON database, with detail, including the ISM-style index, in the SURVEYS database. The Consensus expectations figure is available in AS1REPNA.

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (%, SA) May Apr Mar May '16 2016 2015 2014
General Business Barometer 59.4 58.3 57.7 50.3 53.1 50.3 60.7
ISM-Adjusted General Business Barometer 59.4 57.7 57.2 48.8 52.0 51.6 59.3
  Production 63.2 59.5 61.7 49.3 54.7 52.5 64.5
  New Orders 61.4 65.9 60.4 50.2 55.7 50.4 63.8
  Order Backlogs 51.8 43.0 49.6 47.5 47.4 44.4 54.2
  Inventories 55.5 53.3 60.5 38.1 47.2 52.1 55.9
  Employment 57.1 53.8 49.1 48.8 49.4 50.3 56.0
  Supplier Deliveries 59.6 56.0 54.4 57.6 52.8 52.5 56.5
  Prices Paid 57.3 62.9 64.7 55.1 53.1 46.8 61.0
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