Chicago PMI Falls In January

by: Doug Short

By Jill Mislinski

The Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, is similar to the national ISM Manufacturing indicator but at a regional level, and is seen by many as an indicator of the larger US economy. It is a composite diffusion indicator made up of production, new orders, order backlogs, employment, and supplier deliveries compiled through surveys. Values above 50.0 indicate expanding manufacturing activity.

The latest Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, or the Chicago Business Barometer, fell in January to a value of 65.7 from a revised 67.8 in December. forecast 64.2.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

"Official data in Q1 tends to come in weaker than in reality, but our survey suggests that despite softening a little, sentiment among businesses remains robust. This was the best January result in seven years, capped off by the Employment indicator rising to its highest level in almost 6 years," said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.

"Still, inflationary pressures remain elevated and show no signs of abating, something that should be at the forefront of the Fed's mind," he added. [Source]

Let's take a look at the Chicago PMI since its inception.

Here's a closer look at the indicator since 2000.

Let's compare the Chicago PMI with the more popular national ISM Manufacturing Index. Both indices clearly follow each other, with the ISM falling slightly lower on average. Note the ISM Manufacturing indicator is through the previous month.