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Financial News: Chicago Business Barometer Unexpectedly Indicates Faster C

Chicago Business Barometer Unexpectedly Indicates Faster Contraction In January

01/31/2024 - 10:25:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - MNI Indicators released a report on Wednesday showing Chicago-area business activity unexpectedly contracted at an accelerated rate in the month of January.

The report said the Chicago business barometer slipped to 46.0 in January from an upwardly revised 47.2 in December, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction.

The modest decrease surprised economists, who had expected the Chicago business barometer to rise to 48.0 from the 46.9 originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected dip by the Chicago business barometer came as the production index plunged to 48.7 in January from 58.6 in December, reentering contraction territory and hitting its lowest level since October 2023.

MNI Indicators said the steep drop by the index was driven by a larger proportion of respondents reporting lower production but noted this may have been at least partly due to severe weather.

Meanwhile, all of the other subcomponents included in the headline index rose compared to December, with the new orders index increasing by 1.4 points and the employment index inching up by 0.5 points.

The report also said the prices paid index decreased for the first time since September 2023, falling to 63.9 in January from 68.0 in December.

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