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Recession calls for 2012 are looking worse with every piece of data that comes out.  Today’s Chicago ISM report was no exception.  Some highlights:

  • Employment index is the highest since 1984
  • Order backlogs moved back into expansion
  • New orders at the highest level since March 2011
  • Headline index at 64 is the highest level in 10 months

And some comments from the survey:

1. We are hoping that the slow down in new orders experienced in December and January is over.
2. Business seems to be picking up in February. January was slow.
3. Our business continues to grow. We are expanding production area & buying new equipment. From
a purchasing standpoint pricing is going up, service levels from almost all vendors is going down.
4. Forecasts seem to be adjusting slightly down. We keep hearing optimism, but still haven’t seen it.
5. While our business is strong now, some of our customers are slowing down.
6. Our Production is down still…not sure why, think the economy has started to affect our business.
7. Overall costs are down despite modest increases on some plastic and steel components. In general
chemicals have eased, yet there is still much uncertainty on the horizon. Company profits are better
than a year ago despite lower than anticipated sales.
8. We are seeing pricing uptrending in motors, plastics and rubber related products.
9. The transportation industry seems to be improving consistently. Orders continue to be strong and
folks in my industry associations are hiring.

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