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Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell 12.4 points to 35.4 in April
The Chicago Business BarometerTM, produced with MNI, fell 12.4 points in April to its lowest level since March 2009 as business confidence dipped sharply amid the current spread of COVID-19.
Among the main five indicators, New Orders and Production registered the steepest declines, while Supplier Deliveries surged.
Production dropped by 19 points in April, hitting the lowest level since June 1980. After slipping in March, demand faded to a near 40-year low. April’s 21-point drop in New Orders was the largest decline on record as firms noted a severe negative COVID-19 impact on both demand and production.
Order Backlogs eased in April by 7.4% following two consecutive months of gains.
Inventories rose substantially with the index increasing by 39.4%, although remaining below the 50-mark for a ninth successive month.
The demand for labor cooled significantly, with Employment falling 11.1 points in April to the lowest level since June 2009.
Supply Network limitations are further impacting Supplier Deliveries which surged to its highest level since April 1974. There was, however, anecdotal evidence of improved delivery times from China.
Prices at the factory gate slipped below the 50-mark in April, falling 14.6%, the lowest level since March 2016.
This month’s special questions asked “Have you taken actions to mediate supply issues amid the corona crisis?” The majority, at 52.9%, reported a few changes, while 43.1% said they had undertaken major changes.
Only 3.9% of respondents noted they had made no changes. Measures taken by firms range from reviewing their supply chains, to working remotely and increased cleaning.
Posted: April 30, 2020 Thursday 09:45 AM