Contraction in Chicago Business Activity Deepened in May -- MNI Indicators
By Dean Seal
Activity at manufacturers in the Chicago area contracted for a
ninth consecutive month in May as demand cools and hiring remains
challenging, data from a survey compiled by MNI Indicators showed
The Chicago Business Barometer fell to 40.4 in May from 48.6 in
April, its lowest reading in six months and below the 47.0
consensus forecast from economists polled by The Wall Street
The index suggests that activity contracted in May, as it came
in below the 50 threshold that separates expansion from
The barometer is compiled after surveying firms in the Chicago
area to assess business conditions. The index takes into account
five components: new orders, order backlogs, production, supplier
deliveries and employment.
The production index declined in May, reversing a rebound last
month, with some firms' customers seeing a slowdown in business
activity, the report said.
The new orders index also declined to a six-month low and its
second-lowest level since June 2020, due at least in part to some
firms' customers having previously overordered.
The employment index softened as well, indicating that firms are
struggling to hire and retain staff.
The prices paid index cooled to its softest level since August
2020, suggesting that demand has weakened. The passthrough of lower
commodity prices from suppliers remained slow and moderate, the
Write to Dean Seal at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 31, 2023 10:52 ET (14:52 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.