The MNI Chicago Business Barometer increased 2.7 points to 54.2 in September from 51.5 in August, recovering most of lost ground experienced in the previous month. On a trend basis, the MNI Chicago Report paints a slightly better picture than earlier in the year with the Barometer averaging 53.8 in Q3, up from 52.2 in Q2 and the highest quarterly level since Q4 2014.
The latest increase was driven by a sharp gain in Production, which rose 7.3 points to 59.8, the highest since January 2016. New Orders and Order Backlogs, which led the Barometer's decline last month, were little changed in September, with the latter failing to bounce back above the 50 breakeven level. Employment was the only Barometer component that fell, having rallied to a 16-month high in August