Chicago business activity shrinks for second straight month – MNI indicator

Xavier Funde Gloria

Chicago’s economic activity contracted for a second straight month in October, a survey data compiled by MNI Indicators showed on Monday, suggesting that the slowdown is widening.

The Chicago Business Barometer edged down to 45.2 in October from 45.7 in September, below the 47.0 consensus estimate of economists in a Wall Street Journal poll.

The indicator suggested activity contracted at about the same pace as the previous month, as it fell below the 50 threshold that indicates growth.

The barometer was compiled after surveying Chicago-area companies to assess business conditions. The index takes into account five components: new orders, order backlog, production, supplier deliveries and employment.

The production index edged up to 45.1, but indicated a drop in production for the month. “More than a third of respondents said that production was down compared to September and that labor and material shortages persisted,” the report said.

The new orders index fell to 39.2, its lowest level since the initial shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, as a weak economic outlook weighed on demand.

The employment index rose to 45.6, but continued to show that companies in the region cut jobs on average in October.

The supplier delivery index fell to 59.3, close to pre-pandemic levels, indicating continued easing of supply pressures, the report said.

The price paid index edged up to 74.8, with half the companies seeing price increases in October compared with about 80% in the first half. “Lower container costs and a stronger dollar help lower logistics costs,” MNI Indicators said.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at

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