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, jumped to 72.1 in April from 66.. in March, which is in expansion territory and its highest since 1983. Values above 50.0 indicate expanding manufacturing activity.

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

The Chicago Business BarometerTM, produced with MNI, rose to 72.1 in April, the highest level since December 1983. The index gained 5.7 points, boosted by an influx of new business.

Among the main five indicators, Order Backlogs posted the largest increase, while Supplier Deliveries saw the biggest decline. [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.