A measure of business conditions in the Chicago region showed the area’s economy surged again in July, with businesses trying to pump out goods and services as fast as they can.
The Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago PMI, rose to 73.4 in July from 66.1 in the prior month.
That’s just a touch short of the 47-year high the index reached two months ago. Readings over 50 signal expansion.
The increase exceeded expectations. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast the index to decline to 64.
Businesses have so many orders they cannot keep up with demand. In some cases they’ve had to scale back or production or worker hours because they cannot get supplies on time. The result has been a broad increase in prices and higher inflation.
“Demand is strong but firms remain concerned about supply chain disruptions and rising prices,” the report said.
The index is produced by the ISM-Chicago with MNI. It’s the last of the regional manufacturing indices before the national ISM data for June is released on Monday.
The ISM factory index rose to 63.1% in June and has been extremely strong for months.
fell in Friday trades.