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Chicago PMI  
Released On 3/31/2009 9:45:00 AM For March, 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Business Barometer Index - Level34.2 35.0 32.0  to 40.0 31.4 

February's ISM manufacturing report showed a very welcome easing in contraction but whether tomorrow's report for March shows the same is very uncertain. Today's regional purchasers' report out of Chicago, in line with other regional surveys, shows deepening rates of contraction for the month. Chicago's headline index fell nearly 3 points to 31.4. Many components did show steady or even easing rates of contraction including employment which gained nearly 3 points but to a still severely contractionary level of 28.1. Destocking is still a priority of purchasers in the region with delivery times showing even fewer delays. A bad sign is continued contraction in input prices, at 34.1 from February's 37.8 in a result that won't ease talk over disinflation or outright deflation. Tomorrow's ISM report is up in the air: a good report, which this report doesn't point to, would further boost hopes that the economy is beginning to show improvement. A disappointing report would push back the outlook for recovery. The financial markets showed no reaction to today's report.

Consensus Outlook
The ISM-Chicago business barometer edged 9 tenths higher in February but remained at a still severely contractionary 34.2. This index has been stuck at such depressed levels for four straight months. New orders were little changed at 30.6 with backlogs showing slightly less contraction compared to January at 29.3.

The Institute For Supply Management - Chicago compiles a survey and a composite diffusion index of business conditions in the Chicago area. Since October 2011, the survey has been conducted by Market News International. Manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms both are surveyed. Hence, it is not directly comparable to pure manufacturing surveys. Readings above 50 indicate an expanding business sector.  Why Investors Care
The Chicago-PMI survey registers manufacturing and non-manufacturing activity in the Chicago region. Investors care about this indicator because the Chicago region somewhat mirrors the nation in its distribution of manufacturing and non-manufacturing activity. Many like to compare the Chicago-PMI with following business day's ISM manufacturing index but they do not always move in tandem since the national ISM is only for manufacturing.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2009 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/302/273/314/305/296/307/318/319/3010/3011/3012/30
Release For: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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