Earlier: Chicago PMI Increased in June
From the Chicago PMI: Chicago Business Barometer Rises to 64.1 in June
The MNI Chicago Business Barometer rose 1.4 points to 64.1 in June, up from 62.7 in May, hitting the highest level since January.
Business activity expanded at a faster pace in June, with firms’ operations up for a third consecutive month. Four of the five Barometer components strengthened on the month, leaving the Barometer up 0.8% on the year.
This month, two special questions were posed to firms. The first asked whether ongoing trade talks were having an impact on short-term purchasing decisions. Just under a quarter said that they were having a significant impact on business while an additional 39.2% said yes but only to a minimal extent up until now. Just 17.7% said they had been immune to any disruptions, with the remaining 19.6% unsure.
The second question asked firms if they had increased starting salaries to attract and secure prospective employees. The majority of firms, at 61.4%, said that had yet to resort to this measure but a fairly sizeable 38.6% said that this was a strategy which they had turned to.
“Stronger outturns in May and June left the MNI Chicago Business Barometer broadly unchanged in Q2, running at a pace similar to that seen throughout 2017. While impressive, supply-side frustrations are undermining firms’ productive capacity,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.
“Confusion surrounding the trade landscape continues to breed uncertainty among businesses and their suppliers and has led to many firms’ altering their immediate purchasing decisions,” he added.
This was above the consensus forecast of 60.1, and a strong reading.