The November purchasing manager’s index for the ISM’s Chicago division hit 63. Analysts were expecting 60.

It’s down from last month’s 65.9, but the three-month average is now at the greatest level in two years.

We’ve seen uneven data prints so far this morning, with jobless claims falling more than expected but durable goods orders also falling more than expected.

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The November Chicago Business Barometer softened to 63.0 after October’s sharp

rise to a 31-month high of 65.9. November’s slight correction came amid mild declines

in New Orders, Production and Order Backlogs after double digit gains in the prior


Despite November’s weakening, the Barometer remained well above 60 for the

second month, pushing the three month moving average to the highest level since

November 2011.

Chicago area purchasers continued to report healthy expansion in New Orders and

Order Backlogs, albeit at a slower rate, as well as a lengthening in Supplier Delivery


Inventories exploded 13.1 points to 61.1, moving out of contraction for the first time

since February and posting the highest reading since September 2006. With

expectations for higher demand, firms underwent a major stock rebuild.

Commenting on the MNI Chicago Report, Philip Uglow, Chief Economist at MNI

Indicators said, “The Barometer might be down in November, but this was another

impressive month with companies reporting firm growth”.

“Having kept inventories lean for so long, a pick-up in demand has led to a sharp rise in stock building among the companies in our panel. And to handle the latest production and new orders boost, companies are hiring at the fastest pace for two years,” he added.

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