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, unchanged from last month. forecast 58.5.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“Following the sharp rise in the Barometer to a more than three-year high in June it isn’t too surprising to see activity subsequently ease somewhat. However, overall, the trend remains firm, consistent with the growth story of the US. The disappointment comes from the employment indicator which once again contracted, the sixth time in the last 12 months, with fewer firms expecting an increase in hiring,” 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