Chicago PMI Up in March, Strongest Quarter Since 2014

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 57.7, a 0.3 point increase from last month's 57.4. Investing.com forecast 56.9.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“The March Chicago report echoed last month’s upbeat tone of general business conditions. Though the Barometer was little changed, the underlying trend for many key indicators shows improvement, with a shift away from firms reporting worsening to that of remaining at the same level as last month,” said Shaily Mittal, senior economist at MNI Indicators. [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