Future optimism edged up and stayed above the 2000-2011 average. The Six-Month Outlook index rose to 64.5 in January from a revised 62.5 in December.
The purchase volume and jobs pictu re remained cautious. The Quantity of Purchases index (50.0 in January vs. 48.3 December) has been uneven for five months. The Employment index (45.8 January vs. 46.6 December) contracted for the seventh time in the last eight months.
Price/cost pressures picked up. The Prices Paid index rose to a four-month high of 58.1 in January from 55.4
Business impediments were not widespread . Notable was the decline in working capital shortages; the January level matched November’s 10-month low.
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