Chicago Business Barometer Unexpectedly Falls To Lowest Level Since May 2023

A report released by MNI Indicators on Thursday showed Chicago-area business activity unexpectedly contracted at an accelerated rate in the month of March.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer fell to 41.4 in March from 44.0 in February, with a reading below 50 indicating contraction. Economists had expected the index to rise to 46.0.

The Chicago business barometer decreased for the fourth consecutive month, falling to its lowest level since May 2023.

MNI Indicators said the barometer’s unexpected move lower was driven by a reduction in Order Backlogs, New Orders, Production, and Supplier Deliveries, whilst a gain in Employment limited the downside.

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