Looks like higher oil prices, the Chinese slowdown, and "Japan" are really putting a dent in world growth.
Somewhere Ben Bernanke must be sweating.... and my call for QE3 this late fall/winter is gaining strength. [May 19, 2011: Prepare for a Fed Hike.... in 2018? So Says Goldman Sachs] (although it will most likely hurt the economy further)
On the positive side - prices fell sharply.
From the respondents:
- "Chemical prices are under increasing cost pressure, driven by feedstock and transportation costs." (Chemical Products)
- "Continued growth through beginning of second quarter, with strong backlog and outlook for at least the next three months." (Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components)
- "Business levels remain strong — better than last year by 20+ percent, but not back to 2008 or early 2009 levels." (Fabricated Metal Products)
- "Demand remains strong; however, inflation is evident everywhere in virtually every material purchased." (Paper Products)
- "Bad weather is impacting retail business." (Printing & Related Support Activities)
- "Business is still strong, but we are more aware of a possible softening than previously." (Machinery)
|MANUFACTURING AT A GLANCE |
|Customers' Inventories||39.5||40.5||-1.0||Too Low||Faster||26|
|Backlog of Orders||50.5||61.0||-10.5||Growing||Slower||5|