Chicago PMI Gains in February, Highest Since 2015

The Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index, is similar to the national ISM Manufacturing indicator but at a regional level and is seen by many as an indicator of the larger US economy. It is a composite diffusion indicator, made up of production, new orders, order backlogs, employment, and supplier deliveries compiled through surveys. Values above 50.0 indicate expanding manufacturing activity.

The latest report for Chicago PMI came in at 57.4, a 7.1 point increase from last month's 50.3. forecast 50.3.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“The sharp bounce back in optimism to a level not seen in over two years and growth in output at the highest level for over a year offers an upbeat picture of the US economy,” said Shaily Mittal, senior economist at MNI Indicators.

“The latest survey shows a continuance of price increases, with Prices Paid at the highest level since September 2014. With inflationary pressures on the rise and the job market having improved, the next rate hike could come soon, possibly in the coming quarter”, she added. [Source]

Let's take a look at the Chicago PMI since its inception.

Chicago PMI

Here's a closer look at the indicator since 2000.

Chicago PMI since 2000