(RTTNews) - Chicago-area business activity continued to contract in the month of December, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Monday, although the pace of contraction slowed from the previous month.
MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer climbed to 48.9 in December from 46.3, but a reading below 50 still indicates a contraction in regional business activity. Economists had expected the barometer to rise to 48.0.
The increase by the business barometer was partly due to a jump by the production, which surged up to a four-month high of 47.2.
On the other hand, the report said the new orders index edged down to 49.1 in December, while the employment index fell to 47.4.
MNI Indicators said prices at the factory gate jumped 9.2 percent to 58.4 in December, hitting the highest level since August.
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