Gains in new orders and a slowing in deliveries highlight November's Chicago purchasers' report, offsetting further losses in employment and further draws in inventories. Chicago's headline index rose nearly 2 points to 56.1 to indicate a month-to-month increase in the pace of overall business activity in the area. New orders rose 1.4 points to a very strong 62.8, a plus-60 level that, because of its strength, will be hard to match in the coming months. Supplier deliveries rose 6.7 points to 57.4 to indicate a significant slowing in deliveries and congestion in the supply chain. Production, at 56.1, rose in the month but at a slower pace than October's very strong 63.9. Employment, at 41.9, indicates substantial month-to-month contraction but at a less severe pace than October's 38.3 level. Prices paid showed a mild month-to-month increase at 52.6, a result that raises no concern.
The report is a mild plus for the economic outlook especially the gain in new orders which points to strength in production and hopefully employment in the months ahead. Markets showed no reaction to the results. The ISM, which samples purchasers on a national scale, will post its reports this week with Tuesday set for the manufacturing report and Thursday for non-manufacturing. Note the Chicago report, which has no connection with the ISM, includes both manufacturers and non-manufacturers in its sample.