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First Cut: MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer firms slightly in May

The MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer rose to 54.2 in May from 52.6 in April as three of five components firmed. However, the pace of expansion remained lackluster for the survey respondents who are in both the service and manufacturing sector.

It is possible that Boeing’s troubles related to the 737 MAX airplane — Boeing headquarters is in Chicago — are pulling down the tone of respondents’ replies. Aircraft orders have been few and far between for Boeing since the crashes. However, other regional surveys of conditions in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing point to uneven activity and slow orders.

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