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Chicago Business Barometer Indicates Slightly Slower Growth In October

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Chicago-area business activity saw continued growth in the month of October, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Friday, although the pace of growth slowed modestly.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer edged down to 61.1 in October after spiking to 62.4 in September. Economists had expected the index to dip to 58.0.

Despite the modest decrease, the reading above 50 indicates growth in Chicago-area business activity for the fourth straight month.

The pullback by the business barometer was partly due to a notable decrease by the production index, which slumped by 5.9 points.

The employment index also backtracked in October and was the only major category to record a sub-50 reading, with firms noting staff reductions as a result of the pandemic.

On the other hand, MNI Indicators said demand picked up modestly in October, with the new orders index inching up 0.2 points to its highest level since November 2018.

The report said prices at the factory gate were stable in October, as firms reported higher prices for wood, steel and chemicals.

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