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The US manufacturing sector via the regional Chicago ISM Manufacturing PMI hit to the highest since September 2018 in October at 59.3% much higher than the 55.7% expected. New Orders Index highest level at 67.9% since January 2004.

US Factory Worker 

Chicago ISM  PMI - October 2020 US Manufacturing Index


Key Points:

  • ISM Manufacturing Index highest level since September 2018.
  • October was the fifth consecutive month of expansion.
  • New Orders Index hit its highest level at 67.9% since January 2004, despite the lack of a new stimulus package
  • Employment a return to expansion territory after 14 consecutive months of contraction.
  • Fifth consecutive month that prices for raw materials have increased.
  • Supplier deliveries prior Customer inventories prior New export orders Imports prior

Data: October v September

  • Manufacturing 59.3 v 55.4 in September Production Index rose to 63.0% from 61.0%.
  • Prices Index 65.5% from 62.8%
  • New orders 47.2 v 50.8
  • Employment Index increased to 53.2% from 49.6%
  • Backlog of Orders Index edged up to 55.7% from 55.2%
  • Supplier deliveries 60.5 vs 59.0
  • Inventories 51.9 vs 47.1 prior
  • Customer inventories 36.7 vs 37.9
  • New export orders 55.7 vs 54.3 prior
  • Imports 58.1 vs 54.0 prior


"COVID-19 continues to have an effect on supplier support and operations, more from a decreased labor perspective rather than unavailable material." (Computer & Electronic Products)

"Business continues to be robust. Sales are greater than expectations, and cost pressures are modest. There is posturing by suppliers on market price increases for corrugated and polypropylene, yet no firm price increases at this time. We expect a strong finish to 2020 and a solid start in 2021."(Chemical Products)

"Sales continue to be strong - up 4 percent this September compared to September 2019. The year-to-date level is still 21 percent below last year due to the [COVID-19] shutdown, but sales are stronger than expected and forecast to stay strong through the first quarter of 2021." (Transportation Equipment)

"Increased production due to stores stocking up for the second wave of COVID-19." (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)

"Continue to see increases in customer demand. We still are not back to pre-COVID-19 levels but are continually improving." (Fabricated Metal Products)

"Construction materials have leveled off but continue to be at an all-time high. Mills for board sheet stock have pushed out lead times citing increasing backlogs related to the pandemic and increased supply in the housing market." (Furniture & Related Products)

"Business is almost back to normal levels; however, customers are still cautious with capital spending." (Machinery)

"Business levels have just about returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. Our company is remaining conservative with fixed-cost spending, knowing the uncertainties that lie ahead with COVID-19 and its potential impact globally." (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)

"October order books are the strongest we have seen in the past six months." (Paper Products)

"We continue to see stronger month-over-month orders in plastic injection molding." (Plastics & Rubber Products)

About Chicago PMI

Chicago PMI in the United States averaged 54.81 Index Points from 1967 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 78.60 Index Points in January of 1973 and a record low of 21.20 Index Points in June of 1980. 

The Chicago PMI (ISM-Chicago Business Barometer) measures the performance of the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sector in the Chicago region. The Index is computed from five weighted raw indexes: Production (0.25), New Orders (0.35), Order Backlog (0.15), Employment (0.10), and Supplier Deliveries (0.15) and then seasonally adjusted to support month-to-month comparisons.

A reading above 50 indicates an expansion; below 50 represents a contraction; while 50 indicates no change. Chicago PMI is released one day before the ISM Manufacturing Index. This page provides the latest reported value for - United States Chicago PMI - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Chicago PMI - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on July of 2019.

Source: Trading Economics IHS Markit

From the TradersCommunity News Desk

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