Update: It seems we have a bait and switch. the Chicago ISM has been revised down.
Dow Jones reports that the Chicago Institute for Supply Management revised down the Chicago PMI to 58.7 on Thursday from the announced reading of 60.0 on Wednesday. The most significant change was to the employment index that now shows contraction at 47.6 compared to the announced 51.2.
The Chicago PMI was released December 30th, with all of the headlines ablaze that the business activity index hit
60%, the highest since 2006.
Here is the actual report.
Below is a historical graph, (the horizontal axis are decades and the grays are recessions) of the Chicago business activity index. One can clearly see this is a very good indicator for the Midwest region.
New orders was a huge improvement, 65.8, the biggest sign of life.
Employment went just slightly above the red line, 51.5. The revised report has employment in the red, at 47.6%.
Anything above 50 is increasing.
What I find odd is how the non-seasonal adjustment is in the red yet such a high seasonal adjustment is seen.
Yet the graphs in the report, attached to this post, show, from a long timeline, seasonally adjusted, things in the Midwest at least look up.
On spending any money, the Midwest is in the tank! 25.5
One of the quotes from those surveyed was:
Excessive demands on surviving employees is wearing thin, but fear and desperation will always prevail.
My, my, sounds like a real fun guy to work for!
Another comment implied profits were a result of squeezing labor and actual sales are flat. The same is expected for 2010.