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Economy in Brief

Chicago Business Barometer Reverses Earlier Improvement
by Tom Moeller  February 29, 2016

The Chicago Purchasing Managers indicated that its General Business Barometer retreated to 47.6 during February following a surge to 55.6 in January. The reading remained at the low end of the range during the last year. The ISM-Adjusted index fell to 46.7 and gave back its January improvement. During the last ten years, there has been a 62% correlation between the index level and quarterly growth in real GDP.

Declines in the production and the new orders series were pronounced. Employment also fell sharply to the lowest level since November 2009. Fourteen percent (NSA) of respondents reported higher job levels while 24% reported declines. Order backlogs also fell, but supplier deliveries and inventories series rose slightly.

The prices paid index declined to the lowest level since July 2009. Eight percent (NSA) of respondents reported higher prices, but 24% reported them lower.

The MNI Chicago Report is produced by MNI/Deutsche Borse Group in partnership with ISM-Chicago. The survey covers a sample of over 200 purchasing managers in the Chicago area with a monthly response rate of about 50%. The ISM-Adjusted headline index is calculated by Haver Analytics using these data to construct a figure with the ISM methodology. The figures can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database. The Consensus expectations figure is available in AS1REPNA.

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (%, SA) Feb Jan Dec Feb '15 2015 2014 2013
ISM-Adjusted General Business Barometer 46.7 52.4 46.8 49.8 51.6 59.3 54.2
General Business Barometer 47.6 55.6 42.9 46.8 50.3 60.7 56.0
  Production 44.0 62.5 46.6 46.6 52.5 64.5 58.2
  New Orders 51.7 58.8 38.6 43.9 50.4 63.8 59.1
  Order Backlogs 45.3 47.2 29.4 41.5 44.4 54.2 48.8
  Inventories 43.1 42.7 48.9 49.0 52.1 55.9 45.6
  Employment 45.2 48.9 46.4 51.9 50.3 56.0 55.6
  Supplier Deliveries 49.7 49.2 53.7 57.4 52.5 56.5 52.5
  Prices Paid 41.1 43.7 45.6 48.6 46.8 61.0 59.8
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