The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the Chicago Business Barometer fell below neutral, ending 43 months ofpositive readings.
- Production advanced while New Orders retreated;
- Prices Paid continued to slump toward neutral;
- Employment fell to the lowest level in four years;
Buying Policy: 3 month average lead-times were longer, but January bucked the trend.
The various indexes within the report showed areas of concern. New orders have been dropping for a few months. Employment is at its lowest level in almost four years. One of the industry representative comments said overall demand was down almost 30% with high sales incentives. The new orders and overall production levels have been trending down for about 2 years, only now falling into contraction levels.
The comments section called the report "worrisome".