Chicago PMI at 58.4 tells a mixed message

The Chicago Business Barometer declined to 58.4 in October from last month’s 60.4:

The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the CHICAGO BUSINESS BAROMETER stabilized in October. The Business Barometer marked a 25th month of expansion, yet the 3 month moving average for the barometer fell for the 7th consecutive month. Monthly changes in the individual Business Activity components were generally modest with all but one component converging towards their 3 month moving averages.

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In terms of business activity, the Chicago ISM highlighted the fact that order backlogs recovered from two months of contraction and that employment was the highest in six months, even while new orders erased half of September’s gain.

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As any number above 50 shows expansion, this is generally good report. But the message is mixed because of the continued fall in the three-month moving average.

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