While the 'experts' expected a slight dip in the Chicago PMI to 56 from August's reading of 56.7 the number actually jumped significantly to 60.4. This backs our view that the economic data that slowed during the summer began picking up pace in September. Again another reason why the Consumer Confidence data is virtually worthless and a lagging indicator these days. With manufacturing data soaring along with the stock market, how could consumers be so pessimistic?
The PMI numbers were very bullish with orders and activity soaring and inventories remaining neutral below 50. Employment ticked up to 53.4, but sill way below the growth in activity. Good sign for corporate profits.
This morning's rumors were right! The Chicago PMI did come in well over expectations, at 60.4 in September vs. August's 56.7. The reading relative to August points to accelerating growth this month, at least for businesses in the Chicago area.
Strength is right where it should be in new orders which jumped more than six points to a very strong 61.4. Production is very active, at 64.3 for a nearly seven point gain. Employment is moderately positive at 53.4 with inventories neutral at 49.5.
This report will ease concern that Friday's ISM manufacturing index along with Tuesday's non-manufacturing index may show a breakdown toward the neutral 50 level.