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Financial News: Chicago Business Barometer Unexpectedly Indicates Faster G

Chicago Business Barometer Unexpectedly Indicates Faster Growth In April

04/28/2017 - 10:15:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by MNI Indicators on Friday showed an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of April.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer rose to 58.3 in April from 57.7 in March, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

The continued increase by the business barometer came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to drop to 56.5.

With the unexpected increase, the Chicago business barometer climbed to its highest level since January of 2015.

MNI Indicators said demand continued to gain ground in April, with the new orders index rising for the third straight month to reach its highest level since May of 2014.

To meet rising orders, demand for labor also picked up during the month, lifting the employment index out of contraction territory after a brief dip below 50 last month.

"The April Chicago report showcased another impressive month, with firms reporting solid growth," said Shaily Mittal, senior economist at MNI Indicators.

She added, "Although the employment indicator has been bumpy, in and out of contraction, if the current month's rise is sustained, it could provide a boost to the labor market."

On the other hand, the report said the production index fell after two consecutive increases, dipping to 59.5 in April from 61.7 in March.

MNI Indicators said factory gate prices also eased for the second consecutive month but noted they remain elevated.

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