The numbers: The Chicago PMI slipped 2.1 points to 65.7, MNI Indicators said Wednesday. That’s on a scale where any reading over 50 indicates improving conditions.
What happened: The gauge was still very strong, backing a bit away from a nine-year high. The new-orders index fell to a five-month low in January.
What they’re saying: “Official data in Q1 tends to come in weaker than in reality, but our survey suggests that despite softening a little, sentiment among businesses remains robust. This was the best January result in seven years, capped off by the Employment indicator rising to its highest level in almost 6 years,” said Jamie Satchi, economist at MNI Indicators.
The big picture: Manufacturing has been on a bit of roll, helped by the recovery in the energy sector as well as the recent renewed enthusiasm for auto production.