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Financial News: Chicago Business Barometer Drops Less Than Expected In

Chicago Business Barometer Drops Less Than Expected In January

01/31/2018 - 10:11:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - While MNI Indicators released a report on Wednesday showing a slowdown in growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of January, the pace of growth slowed by less than anticipated.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer dropped to 65.7 in January from an upwardly revised 67.8 in December, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth. Economists had expected the barometer to fall to 64.0.

The decrease by the business barometer came as firms reported a moderately slower pace of both incoming orders and output in January.

The new orders index fell to its lowest level in five months, while the production index showed a more modest decline.

Meanwhile, MNI Indicators said hiring intentions were on the rise in January, with the employment index climbing above 60 for the first time since late 2013.

Inflationary pressures at the factory gate also intensified in January, rising to the highest level since September.

"Official data in Q1 tends to come in weaker than in reality, but our survey suggests that despite softening a little, sentiment among businesses remains robust," said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.

He added, "This was the best January result in seven years, capped off by the Employment indicator rising to its highest level in almost 6 years."

Satchi noted inflationary pressures remain elevated and show no signs of abating, which he said is something that should be at the forefront of the Federal Reserve's mind.

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