Recent Updates

  • UK: Gilt Issuance (Sep)
  • Belgium: Business Surveys (Oct), Capacity Utilization (Q4)
  • Flash PMIs: Australia, Japan, France, Euro Area, Germany, UK, US (Oct)
  • Lebanon: Trade in Goods (Aug)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Chicago Business Barometer Surges in September
by Tom Moeller  September 30, 2020

• Business activity is strengthening.

• Pricing power also is improved.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Business Barometer jumped to 62.4 during September from 51.2 in August. It was the highest level since December 2018 and up from the May low of 32.3. A reading above 50 suggests rising activity in the Chicago area.

Haver Analytics constructs an ISM-Adjusted Chicago Business Barometer with similar methodology to the ISM Composite Index. This measure strengthened to 58.7 in September from 49.7 in August. This measure also was at the highest level since December 2018, up from a low of 40.2 this past June.

Improvement amongst the underlying series was broad-based, led by a surge in the production measure to 67.9 from 52.0. It was the highest reading since August 2018 and up from a May low of 23.7. The new orders measure also jumped to 64.9 from 53.5 as a strengthened 44% (NSA) of companies reported increases and a lessened 18% reported declines. Order backlogs built up to 52.9, the highest level since February of 2019 while inventories strengthened to 47.8, its highest level in four months. The supplier delivery measure rose and showed the slowest delivery speeds since May.

The employment index increased to 45.7 from 41.1. It was the highest reading since January and increased from the June low of 31.9. A strengthened 13% (NSA) of respondents reported more hiring, up from two percent in June. Job cutbacks were steady m/m at 26% of respondents, reduced from 35% in June.

On the inflation front, the prices paid measure rose to 64.7 in September from 55.0 in August. It was the highest level since February 2019 as a strengthened 27% (NSA) reported higher prices. No respondents reported lower prices, greatly reduced from a high of 18% in November of last year.

The MNI Chicago Report is produced by MNI in partnership with ISM-Chicago. The survey is collected online each month from manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms in the Chicago area. Summary data are contained in Haver's USECON database, with detail including the ISM-style index in the SURVEYS database.

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (%, SA) Sep Aug Jul Sep '19 2019 2018 2017
General Business Barometer 62.4 51.2 51.9 47.1 51.3 62.4 60.8
ISM-Adjusted General Business Barometer 58.7 49.7 50.1 47.2 51.4 60.8 59.0
   Production 67.9 52.0 50.6 43.0 51.2 64.5 64.2
   New Orders 64.9 53.5 53.1 47.7 52.0 63.8 63.4
   Order Backlogs 52.9 46.2 47.2 45.1 46.9 58.0 55.2
   Inventories 47.8 37.3 46.3 43.6 48.7 55.4 54.9
   Employment 45.7 41.1 40.1 46.6 49.6 55.3 52.9
   Supplier Deliveries 67.4 64.5 60.3 54.9 55.6 64.8 59.4
   Prices Paid 64.7 55.0 56.9 56.0 58.5 73.9 64.0
close
large image