The Q1 average for the Chicago PMI was 58.4, off from 63.3 in Q4.
The March decline to 55.9 (from 59.8) is highlighted by a sharp decline in the Employment sub-index which fell into contraction territory. New Orders fell for the 2nd straight month, but remained above 50. A bright spot was production, which rose to its highest level since November.
MNI Indicators chief economist Philip Uglow: "It’s too early to tell, though, if this is the start of a sustained slowdown or just a blip."
The weak print combined with dovish comments from Janet Yellen, briefly had bond prices popping, but they've settled down. TLT -0.6%. The 10-year Treasury yield is up four basis points to 2.76%.