What is surprising is not that the current outlook is deteriorating, but that for the first time, the future index finally cracked as the hopium has finally ran out: "The future general business conditions index fell twenty-four points to 8.7, its lowest level since February 2009. The future new orders and shipments indexes dropped to their lowest levels since September 2001." I.e., hope is no more. And there is nothing to take its place.
Looking at individual indices, the New Orders index dropped to November 2010, Unfilled Orders dropped to December 2010, Inventories dropped to December 2010 levels, Prices Paid down to November 2010 levels, as as Priced Received. Amusingly the Number of Employees increased modestly from 1.11 to 3.26, coupled with an increase in the Average Employee Workweek: and there's your spin.
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