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 58.9, a 6.8 point decrease from last month's 65.7. forecast 60.0.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“MNI’s July Chicago Business Barometer should be viewed in the context of the underlying, upward trend in business sentiment witnessed since early 2016. Key indicators, despite reversing their June reading, remain above their respective averages set over the last twelve months, and point towards robust confidence among U.S firms,” said Jamie Satchi, 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