Chicago purchasing managers’ index slides to 50.4 in April

The Institute for Supply Management released its Chicago purchasing managers’ index on Friday. The Chicago purchasing managers’ index slid to 50.4 in April from 53.6 in March, missing expectations for a decrease to 53.0.

A reading above the 50 mark indicates expansion, a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The decrease was mainly driven by drops in new orders and drop in order backlogs. New orders were down to 51.0 in April from 55.6 in March, order backlogs plunged to 38.7 from 49.7.

The production index rose to 54.0 in April from 53.7 in March, while the employment index fell to 47.5 from 52.8.

“This was a disappointing start to the second quarter, with the Barometer barely above the neutral 50 mark in April. Against a backdrop of softer domestic demand and the slowdown abroad, panellists are now more worried about the impact a rate hike might have on business than they were at the same time last year,” Chief Economist of MNI Indicators Philip Uglow said.