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The Chicago Business Barometer fell 6.6 points to 61.8 in November, the lowest reading since February, driven by a slow-down in new orders. Inventories hit a three-year high as firms stock up in an attempt to beat shortages and long lead times.

  • Among the five main indicators, Inventories saw the largest increase, followed by Production. All other indicators dropped compared to October, with Order Backlogs seeing the largest decline.
  • Prices Paid dipped 0.5 points to 93.8, but still only just shy of October's multi-decade high with ongoing higher costs for production materials reported.
  • Production recovered slightly in November, up 3 points following three straight falls from August to October. New Orders fell back to their February level, down 9.3 points to 58.2.
  • Order Backlogs dropped 13.8 points to 60.8, 6 points below the 12-month average, as firms reported a reduction in the size of incoming orders.
  • Supplier Deliveries declined slightly, down 1.5 points, however multiple survey respondents reported November deliveries to be the slowest ever.
  • Inventories rose 8.5 points to 59.6, the highest since Fall 2018. Some firms reported stockpiling to get ahead of further supply chain disruptions and counteract logistical issues.