Following November’s exuberant spike to Jan 2015 highs, December saw Chicago Purchasing Managers lose some Trumpian hope as the index slid from 57.6 to 54.6 with new orders, production, and inventories all fell. It seems the ‘hard’ industrial production and durable goods data was right after all and the sentiment-fueled ‘soft’ surveys once again over-reached.
Stagflation once again looms, as MNI reports, the December decline was led by a slowdown in New Orders, which fell 6.7 points to 56.5, giving up most of the November gain that had left it running at the fastest pace since June. Production also subtracted from the Barometer, ending 2016 at the lowest level since October, while Order Backlogs moved back into contraction. Employment held firm, remaining below 50 for the second month in a row, while Supplier Deliveries was the only component to gain ground in December.
The Inventories Indicator moved back into contraction, sitting below the break-even mark for the eighth time this year, with some firms reluctant to add to their stock levels as we approach the end of the year.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.