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Coronavirus slows manufacturing delivery times 'significantly' in February, Chicago PMI shows

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Friday 28 Feb 2020

Coronavirus slows manufacturing delivery times 'significantly' in February, Chicago PMI shows

(Sharecast News) - The slowdown in manufacturing sector activity in the Chicago area eased by much more than expected in February, the results of a closely-followed survey showed, despite signs that the coronavirus was lengthening delivery times substantially.
Market News International's factory sector gauge jumped from a reading of 49.2 in January to 49.0 for this month.

That was comfortably ahead of a consensus projection for the headline index of 46.3.

Significantly, a key gauge for new orders jumped by 7.6 points to 49.1, reaching its highest level since August 2019, thus revealing only a small dip.

For all of the survey's indices, the 50.0 point level marks the threshhold between successively higher rates of increase when above or declines when below.

However, a sub-index for supplier deliveries "surged" by 7.9 points to 61.3 "with anecdotal evidence that the coronavirus is already leading to supply chain disruptions," the survey compiler said.

Output levels also improved, expanding slightly, with the corresponding gauge increasing by 8.3 points to 51.0, for an eight-month high.

And inventory drawdowns eased, with the gauge tracking companies' stockpiles up by 7.8 points to 48.1, although that was still its seventh consecutive month below the 50 point mark.

Backlogs of orders continued to languish, falling at near their quickest pace in four years, even if a bit less rapidly than in January.

Employment levels continued slipping, with that sub-index decreasing by 2.4 points to 44.5 and declining to its lowest level since July 2019.

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