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“The MNI Chicago Business Barometer declined to 58.4 in October, the lowest reading since April, down 2.0 points from 60.4 in September,” the Institue for Supply Management (ISM) reported on Wednesday.

Key takeaways from the press release

  • Business activity continued to expand at a healthy rate this month, despite the pace of activity decelerating for the third month in a row.  
  • Hiring activity intensified this month, with the Employment indicator up for the first time since July.
  • Meanwhile, Prices Paid, a gauge of input price pressures, remained locked in a historically elevated range.  
  • Some firms reported seeing higher unit prices on invoices for the first time, on the back of further import tariffs levied on China, while others said they expected shortages to push prices higher over the coming months.