The Chicago Business Barometer increased to 68.4 in October, according to MNI Indicators, following two consecutive months of decline. This is the fourth highest PMI level recorded in the last 10 years, following the May, July, and April 2021 highs. The October PMI is up 3.7 points from the month prior. MNI reports that order backlogs recovered more than half from their sharp September decline, and supplier deliveries increased. Firms again reported worsening port congestion and ongoing issues with trucking, rail and air cargo logistics.
MNI reports new orders recovered 3.1 points from September’s six-month low. Some businesses said raw material shortages and a low supply of critical components (i.e. semiconductors) at suppliers wer impacting opportunities. Prices paid rose by 3.6 points in October to a 42-year high, with many companies reporting that prices continue to be an issue. Production was the single component to decline in October, reaching a 14-month low. October employment increased for the fourth consecutive month to a three-year high.
MNI asked firms what they anticipated will be the greatest challenge for their business in Q4; over half responded logistics. Firms were also asked “are you considering new hires in 2022?” to which 72% said they were looking to recruit; 11% said no.
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By Brett Linton, Brett@SteelMerketUpdate.com
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