Chicago-Area Business Activity Slightly Eases in October -- MNI Indicators
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Business activity in the Chicago area expanded in October for
the fourth consecutive month, although at a slightly slower rate
than that of September, data from MNI Indicators showed Friday.
The Chicago Business Barometer came in at 61.1 in October, down
from September's reading of 62.4. Economists polled by The Wall
Street Journal had expected the barometer to stand at a lower level
The barometer is compiled every month after surveying purchasing
and supply management professionals in the Chicago area, who are
polled to assess business conditions for their respective
companies. Readings above 50 point to improvement of the business
climate in the region, while readings below 50 indicate negative
Among the five main indicators, new orders was the only category
to show a monthly uptick, while production recorded the largest
decline, MNI Indicators said.
New orders rose by a marginal 0.2 points and reached its highest
level since November 2018. Production fell by 5.9 points, with some
firms noting a drop in demand while others saw a stable level of
orders and production or a gradual improvement in business
Order backlogs eased 2.4 points, but the index remained un
expansion territory. Inventories eased by a marginal 0.2
Employment is the only major category that is still under
contraction territory, the report said, adding that firms noted
staff reductions in October as result of the pandemic.
To the question if respondents are planning to make working
remotely a permanent option for their employees after the pandemic,
the 45.8% were unsure, 35.6% aren't planning to and 18.6% support
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 30, 2020 10:18 ET (14:18 GMT)
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