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Karim writes:

Orders-Inventories spread down 6.7pts to 11.6 (down from 30.5 peak 2mths ago and 18-20 range of past few months); signals slower production gains in months ahead

Biggest surprise is near 7pt jump in employment to 53.1; appears at odds with other surveys (Conf Board) and Claims

Anecdotes mixed

Oct Sept
Index 55.7 63.5
Prices paid 65.0 63.5
Production 63.3 55.7
New Orders 58.5 60.8
Inventories 46.9 42.5
Employment 53.1 46.2
Export Orders 55.5 55.0
Imports 51.0 52.0
  • “We are beginning to be affected greatly by lead-time increases on semiconductor components.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “Still a very difficult environment — commodity increases threaten recovery and don’t seem to correlate with any supply/demand fundamentals.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)
  • “Automotive demand still remains strong even after ‘cash for clunkers.'” (Fabricated Metal Products) [indicated for the second month]
  • “After several rather busy months, we are seeing the order intake for early next year soften.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “The improvement seen earlier is not holding.” (Primary Metals)