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 March to a value of 61.9 from 65.7 in February. forecast 64.2.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“The Chicago Business Barometer calendar quarter average had increased for six straight quarters until Q1 2018, with the halt largely due to the recent downward trajectory of orders and output,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.

“Troubles higher up in firms’ supply chains are restraining their productive capacity and higher prices are being passed on to consumers. On a more positive note, firms remain keen to expand their workforce,” 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.