Chicago Business Barometer Inches Slightly Higher In August

A report released by MNI Indicators on Wednesday showed its reading on Chicago-area business activity was little changed in the month of August.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer inched up to 52.2 in August from 52.1 in July, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. Economists had expected the business barometer to edge down to 52.0.

The slight uptick came after the Chicago business barometer dropped to its lowest level since August 2020 in the previous month.

The modest increase by the headline index came as the production index jumped to 54.9 in August from 48.2 in July, while the new orders index climbed to 48.9 from 44.5.

On the other hand, MNI Indicators said the employment index edged down to 54.6 in August from 56.1 in July, implying little change in the tightness of the labor market.

The supplier deliveries index also slid to 62.1 in August from 67.1 in July, with MNI Indicators noting stockpiling in the first quarter of the year likely exasperated delivery issues.

With regard to inflation, the prices paid index was nearly unchanged at 81.8 in August, suggesting price pressures remain acute.

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