The Chicago Business BarometerTM, produced with MNI, fell to 56.4 in April, reversing last month’s gain to 62.9. All main indicators decreased except for Prices Paid. with both Production and New Orders now at the lowest level since Summer 2020.
- Prices Paid ticked up a modest 0.4 points to 86.1 with over three-quarters of firms citing higher prices this month. The Ukraine war was cited as inflating steel, plastics and lumber costs. New Orders saw the largest decline, dropping 10.8 points to 51.1 to a June-2020 low, with almost half of firms seeing no increase.
- Production slumped 9.1 points to 50.9, over 10 points below the 12-month average. Firms cited key part shortages as particularly acute in April, with supply chain delays dragging on production capabilities. Order Backlogs slipped 0.9 points to 63.4 remaining persistently high
- Employment waned 2.6 points to 45.5, following the March recovery to 48.1. Highly competitive labour market conditions continued to make staff retention challenging.
• The survey ran from April 1 to 19.