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MNI (London)
     LONDON (MNI) - The MNI Chicago Business Barometer increased by 1.6 points
to 54.2 in May from 52.6 in April. Despite the pick-up in sentiment, the survey
points to softness in business activity, as indicated by the three-month average
slipping to a two-year low.
     The following are the key points from the May MNI Chicago Business
Barometer:
     - The rise in business confidence was led by Production and New Orders. New
Orders increased for the first time in three months, but the increase was not
large enough to offset last month's fall. Production picked-up to match its
three-month average but was significantly below its 12-month average.
     - Order Backlogs slipped into contraction again, the second such instance
this year. Backlogs against other sub-components have contracted the most over
the past year, giving further evidence of lukewarm demand.
     - Weaker demand for labor continued in the wake of slower growth in demand
and production seen since the turn of the year, despite this month's positive
outturn. Employment was below both its three-month and 12-month averages and at
the lowest level since October 2017.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; +44 0203 865 3814; email: irene.prihoda@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; +44-203-865-3820; email: Ian.Stannard@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAUDS$,M$U$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com

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