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First Cut: MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer for April lowest since January 2017

The MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer for April fell to 52.6 from 58.7 in March and was lower for a second month in a row. The ISM Chicago said the index reading was the lowest since January 2017.

The survey includes respondents from both services and manufacturing. I note that Chicago, IL is the home of Boeing. If recent troubles for the aircraft manufacturer have leaked into perceptions for other businesses in the region, it may explain some of the decline, especially for softer new orders.

The ISM Chicago said that four components delivered softer readings and only order backlogs had an increase. Weaker orders have led to weaker production and less demand for new workers. Shorter delivery times hint that orders are moving faster through the pipeline and conditions are less strained than they were in 2018.

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