Switzerland: PMI broadly stable near seven-year high in January as purchase prices soar on the weaker franc
In January, the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) produced by Credit Suisse and procure.ch was broadly stable from a month earlier, inching down 0.3 points to 65.3 points from December’s revised 65.6 points (previously reported: 65.2 points). Despite the moderation, the index remained within striking distance of December’s seven-year high. January’s reading broke a brief two-month streak of gains, but still landed well above the critical 50-point threshold that separates expansion from contraction in manufacturing output—exceeding the series’ long-term average for another month and signaling the ongoing strengthening of the manufacturing-driven economic recovery. Minor revisions to the series’ historical releases were due to changes in the index’s seasonal-adjustment factors at the outset of the year.
January’s elevated reading was again the result of strong output and well-filled order books; although production ticked down marginally, backlogs of orders rose to their highest level in seven years. Moreover, stocks of finished goods fell despite large purchased quantities, reflecting the recent dynamism of manufacturing. That said, employment rose at a more cautious pace in the month. Meanwhile, purchase prices hit a near-record high in January, driven higher by both the depreciation of the franc against the euro and increasingly long wait times for ordered goods to arrive—likewise a sign of shortage.