It hit the tape about an hour ago but Chicago MNI finally released the new press release after they screwed up its first release of its May monthly manufacturing index. Instead of falling as first reported, it rose 1.1 pts to 59.4, the best since November 2014. New orders were down by 4.5 pts to 61.4 but the backward looking production component was up. Backlogs finally got back above 50 after 5 months below. Inventories were higher by 2.2 pts to 55.5. The employment component was up by 3.3 pts but “panelists reported a rise in temp hires and cut down of executive level positions to manage costs.” Prices pressures softened for a 3rd straight month. Overall, the year to date average is 56.6 which is well below the 51.8 print pre election back in October.
I haven’t seen an explanation for the problem at MNI but notwithstanding the Chicago uptick the bottom line is still the same in that the regional manufacturing surveys have provided us with a pretty mixed bag of data where the ISM national number tomorrow is expected to fall a touch to the lowest since December (but the estimate might change a hair after the new Chicago print). As seen in the chart below, you can see how volatile this index has now become.