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 Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index, or the Chicago Business Barometer, fell in February to a value of 61.9 from 65.7 in January. forecast 64.2.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“Disruptive weather conditions this month and large promotions at the back-end of last year appear to have weighed on demand and output in February, but despite the Barometer’s broad-based decline activity remains upbeat,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.

“That said, a large proportion of firms are anxious about the cost of input materials, and warn they could pass on these higher costs to consumers if inflationary pressures do not abate,” he 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.