The Institute for Supply Management reports that the Chicago PMI business barometer declined to 49.7, the lowest level the index has seen since September of 2009. The is a terrible print and brings the index back to a state of contraction.
The ISM added several comments for the month:
- It seem’s that companies are starting to move forward again. Projects that have been on hold are again being discussed.
- Packaging prices are steady with some pressure or suggestions of increase without real merit. Chemical prices are increasing due to oil and corn in the case of ethanol.
- Copper moved higher quickly.
- Market place still seems unsettled. One automotive customer’s projections for huge growth this year fizzled out during the 3rd quarter, yet another automotive customer’s demands have shown healthy increases.
- Suppliers seem to be slower than ever with their orders, there seems to be no knowledge or creativity anymore if it isn’t on the computer they can’t do it.
- 2012 drought, election year, recent change in Gulf weather all play into short term and long term prices of materials.
- Overall uncertainty with respect to government policies continues to make us hesitant to make significant investments in new areas.
- Uncertainty about taxes, regulations, and public policy going into 2013 is causing spending decisions to be deferred or constrained until the picture is clearer.
- Another month of lower order intake.