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, rose in April to a value of 57.6 from 57.4 in March. forecast 58.2.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“While the MNI Chicago Business Barometer ended a three month falling streak in April, supply constraints faced by firms intensified and continue to weigh on activity. Longer delivery times are proving attritive, while dearer materials bite further into margins” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators."

“Uncertainty among suppliers appears to be assisting the upward march in prices, but the majority of firms were optimistic any negative impact stemming directly from recently implemented tariffs would be minimal,” 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.