From the Chicago PMI: Chicago Business Barometer Declines to to 58.4 in October
The MNI Chicago Business Barometer declined to 58.4 in October, the lowest reading since April, down 2.0 points from 60.4 in September.This was below the consensus forecast of 60.0, but still a decent reading.
Business activity continued to expand at a healthy rate this month, despite the pace of activity decelerating for the third month in a row. A decline in order book growth and unfinished orders more than offset a rise in output, delivery times and employment, sending the Barometer to its lowest reading in six months. On the year, the Barometer was down 10.7%, the biggest year-over-year fall since December 2015.
Hiring activity intensified this month, with the Employment indicator up for the first time since July. Firms continued to report ongoing difficulties recruiting both skilled and unskilled workers, while others prioritized retention of their existing workforce.
“The MNI Chicago Business Barometer continued to revert back towards trend-levels in October, cooling off after a hot and unsustainable run last year,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.
“Production continues to be restrained by issues between firms and their suppliers, reflected by Supplier Deliveries at a 14-year high, while the latest raft of tariffs on Chinese goods appears to be exacerbating uncertainty across firms,” he added.