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First Cut: MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer lowest in nearly four years

The MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer fell to 43.2 in October and reached its lowest since December 2015, the report said. The decline from 47.1 in September was due to sharp declines in two components — orders and order backlogs. The other components firmed, but remained weak.

The survey respondents are from both the manufacturing and service sectors, so the index isn’t really directly comparable to similar surveys for one sector or the other. However, the second month in a row below the 50-mark and the failure of all the components to reflect expansion indicates that overall activity is weaker and maybe weakening further in coming months without a resurgence in new orders.

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