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 July to a six-month high of 65.5 from 64.1 in June, which was above the forecast 61.9.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“The MNI Chicago Business Barometer started the third quarter in bullish form, with business activity supported by robust demand and output. Both, like the headline index, registered 6-month highs and the majority of firms expect demand to increase further over Q3,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.

“Input prices continue to be a thorn in the side of businesses, however, with the Prices Paid indicator at the highest in a decade and continuing to signal pipeline inflation,” 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.