Chicago factory PMI at near four-decade high in April
Manufacturing sector activity in the Chicago area accelerated at its quickest pace for nearly four decades in April, the results of a closely-followed survey revealed.
Market News International's Chicago Business Barometer jumped from a March print of 66.4 to 72.1 - the highest reading since December 1983.
Economists had at Barclays Research been anticipating a small dip to 65.0.
Testament to the ongoing supply bottlenecks, the sub-index tracking order backlogs saw the biggest gain, of 16.2 points, while that for supplier deliveries was down the most, by 3.5 points.
New orders were however up strongly as well, with the corresponding sub-index 9.9 points higher to near a seven-year high.
MNI noted that the increase in business activity was partly down to companies overbuying due to the ongoing shortage of raw materials.
Factory gate prices meanwhile were said to be "skyrocketing", with the sub-index tracking those up 11 points at a 41-year high.
When asked if they were planning to add workers, 54.8% of managers said 'yes', with 16.7% saying they wanted to add staff, another 14.3% opting for temporary workers and 23.8% saying they would go with a mix of both.
Commenting on Friday's data, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics: "Remarkable [...] Whether these extraordinary readings can be sustained is another question but, for now, manufacturing is booming.
"The catch is that prices continue to rise sharply, with the prices paid index jumping again in April, up 11.1 points to a 41-year high. Prices for manufactured goods are not the key driver of consumer inflation in the U.S., which is dominated by services, but these numbers are nonetheless striking."