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Purchasing Managers Index Shows Weakening Factory Sector

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Purchasing Managers Index showed the factory sector weakened in November. The latest reading for the index was 47.7 in November. Economists polled by


had been expecting it to come in at 48.5.

The Purchasing Managers' Index is the king of all manufacturing indices. The measure, which is based on a survey of purchasing executives at about 300 industrial companies, signals expansion in the factory-sector if it's above 50 and contraction -- as it showed today -- when it is below. This report is known to move markets.

The index stood at 48.3 in October.

There was a surprisingly weak showing yesterday by the

Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index


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initial jobless claims


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). The Chicago PMI, which gauges the health of Midwest-based manufacturing companies, plunged to 41.7 in November, its lowest reading since April 1991, from 48.7 in October. Economists polled by


had forecast a slight rise to 48.9, on average. As with the main PMI, readings below 50 indicate that the Midwest manufacturing sector is contracting rather than growing.

For a longer-term economic calendar and more, see's

Economic Databank.