March 31, 2023 13:55 GMT
MNI Chicago Survey™: Order Backlogs Moving Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels
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The Chicago Business Barometer™ Survey asked firms in March whether their backlogs are now largely in line with pre-pandemic levels.
- Firms’ responses were relatively mixed. Around one fifth (20.7%) stated that their backlogs were largely at pre-pandemic levels. 27.6% assessed their backlogs as slightly/substantially higher, and a further 27.6% found their backlogs were slightly lower. 24.1% responded unsure or N/A.
- Order Backlogs picked up again in March, rising 5.6 points to 45.6. This was again below the neutral 50 threshold, marking three months of falling backlogs. Lower order backlogs are likely a delayed effect of the continued fall in new orders, which contracted for a tenth consecutive month in the March survey.
- With 27.6% of respondents still flagging higher backlog levels that before the pandemic, overall production is likely to remain somewhat shielded from low new order intake for now.