The Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index, is similar to the national ISM Manufacturing indicator but at a regional level and is seen by many as an indicator of the larger US economy. It is a composite diffusion indicator, made up of production, new orders, order backlogs, employment, and supplier deliveries compiled through surveys. Values above 50.0 indicate expanding manufacturing activity.

The latest Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index, or the Chicago Business Barometer, rose to 46.3 in November from 43.2 in October, which was below the forecast of 47.0 and in contraction territory. Values above 50.0 indicate expanding manufacturing activity.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

The Chicago Business BarometerTM, produced with MNI, rose 3.1 points in November, hitting a two-month high 46.3.

However, the index remains in contraction for the third month straight, resulting in a further fall of the 3-month average to 45.5. [Source]

Let's take a look at the Chicago PMI since its inception.

Chicago PMI

Here's a closer look at the indicator since 2000.