Chicago PMI Falls In April, Production & New Orders Down
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell from 70.6 in March to 67.6 in April. However, anything over an index of 50 signifies improved business activity for the majority of companies. April will make this the 19th consecutive month of expanding economic activity. The report said that the Japanese disaster in early March has had minimal impact on business.
Production, New Orders, and Order backlogs have all declined from March levels. New orders are down near November 2010’s level. Inventories have also declined in April to the lowest so far for 2011. After employment reached a 27-year high in March (65.6), April saw a decrease to 63.7.
Supplier deliveries and was the only index to have positive change from March to April, with an index of 68.4. Supplier deliveries number is the highest in seven years. Prices paid retreated slightly to 81.8 after an index of 83.4 in March due to less inflation. Lead times contracted for production material to 27.4 days from 37.8 days in March while lead times for MRO supplies stayed steady at 11.8 days. Capital equipment also contracted in April to 102.4 days after 120.6 for March.