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MNI: Chicago Business Barometer™ Declines to 43.6 in February

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MNI: Chicago Business Barometer™ Weakens further in February

MNI (London)
(MNI) Chicago

The Chicago Business BarometerTM, produced with MNI, declined by a further 0.7 points in February to 43.6, the lowest since November ’22. The headline index signalled a sixth consecutive month of contractionary business activity.

Production, Employment and Prices Paid indicators declined over the month in February, with Production recording the steepest deterioration. All indicators barring Supplier Deliveries and Prices Paid were in contractive territory (sub-50).

Source: MNI / ISM


Employment decreased for a third month, slipping -4.7 points to 37.3. This is the weakest since June ’20 and outside of the April-June 2020 period the lowest since 2009.

Prices Paid sank -7.2 points to 65.3, returning to late 2022 levels after having briefly surged in January. Around 39% of firms paid higher prices in February, slowing from 54% in January.


Production fell by 10.2 points to 38.4 in February, more than reversing last month’s 8.5 point jump higher. Approximately 40% of businesses flagged slowing activity.

New Orders increased by 3.0 points. Despite being the highest since August ’22, the index remains contractive.

Order Backlogs grew by 4.5 points after falling 19.2 points in January as easing supply chain pressures allowed for significant backlog catch-up.

The survey ran from February 1 to 13.

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