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MNI 5 THINGS: Chicago Biz Barometer Sees Disappointing January

MNI (London)
By Jai Lakhani
     LONDON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the January MNI
Chicago Business Barometer:
     --The MNI Chicago Business Barometer fell by 7.1 points in January to 56.7,
its lowest reading since January 2017 when it fell below the 50.0
change/no-change mark.
     --Driving the fall were New Orders, which sunk to a two-year low. Anecdotal
evidence showed firms noting weaker demand from customers which was also
affected by firms being unable to absorb cost-push pressures themselves.
     --A by-product of weak New Orders was a decline in Production to a 10-Month
low. As customer orders fell, firms produced less as a result. The reading,
whilst disappointing, still shows the indicator at a healthy level, just above
its series average.
     --The adjusted Supplier Deliveries Indicator was unchanged in 2018.
However, it did decline over the last two months of 2018 and continued to ease
in January to a 17-month low. Delivery times still remain longer than normal,
however, hindering business operations. This month there were reports from
multiple firms of difficulties sourcing production staff such as welders and
machinists and metals. Firms also continued to highlight the ongoing impact of
     January's special question posited to firms if recent market volatility has
been impacting their business. Whilst 42.9% of firms believed their business was
not impacted by market volatility, a noteworthy 40.8% believed market volatility
was impeding activity. The remainder (16.3%) were uncertain on whether market
volatility was impacting their organization. 
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |

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