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By Jamie Satchithanantham
**LONDON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the December MNI
Chicago Business Barometer:
- The MNI Chicago Business Barometer rose 3.7 points to 67.6 in December,
ending the year at the highest level since March 2011. The Barometer has stood
in expansionary territory for the entire year, doing so for first time since
- On a quarterly basis, the Barometer averaged 65.9 in Q4 -- the best
calendar quarter since Q1 2011. It was only the second Q4 in the past decade to
register three consecutive above-60 readings and the first above-60 Q4 since
- Production and New Orders both saw out the year at multi-year highs.
Production rose to 77.7 in December, the highest in 34 years, while New Orders
notched a three-and-a-half year high. Together, the two indicators account for
60% of the headline Barometer.
- Stock levels rose considerably in December. The Inventories indicator
rose to 64.5, the highest since September 2014, amid reports of some firms
preparing new products for the coming year.
- The Employment indicator dipped beneath the neutral-50 mark on only four
occasions in 2017, half as many times as last year. At 55.3 the December reading
was up 11.2% on last December's outturn.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: email@example.com
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203-586-2226; email: firstname.lastname@example.org