Chicago Manufacturing Shrinks for Second Straight Month

Chicago River
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A measure of manufacturing activity in the Chicago area unexpectedly fell in October following a deep plunge in the prior month.

The Chicago purchasing managers index, also known as the Chicago Business Barometer, declined to 45.2 in October from 45.7 in September.

Economists had expected the index to recover a bit, climbing to 47. Scores below 50 indicate a contraction in manufacturing activity.

The Chicago PMI is the last of the regional surveys of purchasing managers released prior to the national indexes from S&P Global and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) that are scheduled for release Tuesday.

Despite falling further, most indicators saw marginal improvements in October. New orders fell for the fifth straight month and supplier deliveries also declined.

“Weak economic outlooks are dragging on demand. The indicator last fell below 40 in the initial pandemic shock of 2020,” the Chicago ISM said.

The measure of prices paid saw a small 0.7-point uptick to 74.8 in October, 9.6 below the 12-month average, indicating a slower pace of inflation.
Half of firms experienced increased prices in October, compared to around 80 percent in the first half of the year.


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