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First Cut: MNI-ISM Chicago index below neutral for a third month in a row in November

The MNI-ISM Chicago Business Barometer rose to 46.3 in November after a nearly four-year low of 43.2 in October. The index has now been below neutral for three straight months. For index components, the report noted that new orders firmed and backlogs increased, but remained in contraction. The slowdown for production deepened and vendor performance declined sharply, although it remained just north of the 50-mark. Employment was essentially unchanged with the index down a scant two-tenths.

The report also noted that inventories were experiencing a sharp correction downward in anticipation of slower economic conditions.  The prices paid index was its lowest since April and indicated little upward pressure on costs.

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