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First Cut: MNI-Chicago Business Barometer did not sustain August rebound into September

The MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer could not sustain its rebound to 50.4 in August from 44.4 in July, and fell to 47.1 in September. The index reflects responses from both the service and factory sectors. As such it isn’t fully analogous to either the ISM Manufacturing or Non-Manufacturing Indexes. However, it does broadly mirror the economy as a whole and suggests that business activity is on a downward trend, if unevenly.

The decrease was due to a drop off in production (down 7.6 points to 40.4), new orders fell (also down 7.6 points to 48.5), and order backlogs shrunk (down 4.5 points to 46.8). Inventories contracted again (down 2.8 points to 41.7).

The employment index was up to 45.6 and supplier deliveries up to 54.8.

The report noted that prices were down “modestly” month-over-month in September and “There was anecdotal evidence of tariffs affecting prices and business activity.”

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