Chicago PMI Prints At Multi-Decade High At 68.8 On Expectations Of 64.5, "Steel Prices Are Going Crazy"

Chicago PMI Surges again, hitting 68.8 on expectations of 64.5, compared to the lower revised 66.8. And as recently has become trading, the only indicator everyone is looking at is the Price Paid (i.e., the margin collapse metric) which came at 81.7 compared to 78 previously. The key comment from the survey panel: "Steel prices are going crazy." Nuff said.

Report Highlights, and try not to laugh...

Business Activity:

  • Prices Paid, at 81.7, compared to 78.0 previously, indicated increased inflation, increasing to the highest level since July 2008
  • Employment strengthened to a height not seen since May 1984
  • New Order increased to the highest point since December 1983
  • Production improved with New Order to the strongest level since 2004

Buying Policy:

  • Lead times reported for MRO supplies plummeted.

Full comments from the report:

1. Lots of commodities price rising - steel, tin, aluminum, paper. Has not impacted sales though - have had large increase in orders.
2. Commodity inflation hurting profits, no pricing power with our customers.
3. Prices seem to be heating up, many suppliers are knocking on the door right now.
4. Some suppliers are holding prices to remain competitive, but others who have little to no competition in their sector are talking some significant increases in 2011. We are negotiating to keep those increases to a minimum.
5. Steel prices are going crazy
6. Business has increased mostly overseas higher prices, especially copper will kill us figure our cost has increased 40% same as oil too many speculators buying
7. Unfortunately the magic allure of a new year has not brought about improved service and pricing. Suppliers are continuing with pressures of increased pricing, decreased service levels and extended lead times.
8. Local foreclosures continue unabated. Small to medium sized business lending picking up slightly but remains very competitive due to lack of credit-worthiness of many of those businesses.
9. Business continues to improve. We have concerns about available experienced personnel to hire as well as pressures on capacity.
10. Business remains steady, orders are firm from month to month, back log remains solid…
11. Orders continue to come in spurts. No orders for 3 or 4 weeks then 3 or 4 in 1 week. The important thing is that the backlog is growing. The quote action is continuing strong.
12. The company for which I work overall revenues has increased by 34%. We are sheet metal fabrication job shop, customers are predominantly OEM Equipment manufacturers and Packaging.
13. Very good start to 2011 !

And we all have Ben Bernanke's revolutionary policy to thank for 13 !

Full report