Blowout. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index was WAY ABOVE expectations — 68.6 vs. expectations of a gain of 61.5. Gains right across the board — virtually every component was above 60. New orders, production, employment, all strong.
Headline: highest since July 1988
Production: highest since Oct. 2004
New Orders: 2005 levels
Employment: highest in 5 years
Prices Paid: highest since July 2008
So why didn't the market rally? Prices Paid also rose to 78.2 — the highest level since July 2008, igniting fears of inflation. This comment from the Survey Panel is indicative: "The level of business keeps increasing and the resources to handle are not available."
Don't let this derail you: these are blowout numbers, the U.S. economy is improving. It is insane to argue that an improving economy with indications of more hiring is bad news, regardless of concerns about inflation.
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