Chicago Business Barometer Up 10.2 to 65.9 in October, the Highest Level Since March 2011 and the Biggest Monthly Increase in over 30 Years (Charts)

Wow, big move here. The market isn't breaking out on this news ($SPY +0.06%) because good news is considered bad news when factoring in the Fed's stimulus program (QE). The poll on my sidebar shows that 66% expect the Fed to taper in January, which would be a negative catalyst for the market.

MNI Chicago Report

Chicago Business Barometer up 10.2 to 65.9 in October

  • Barometer highest since March 2011
  • Production, New Orders, Order Backlogs posted double digit gains

The October Chicago Business Barometer rose to 65.9 in October from 55.7 in September, led by double digit gains in New Orders, Production and Order Backlogs. October’s gain placed the Barometer at the highest level since March 2011 with companies seemingly unaffected by the government shutdown.

October’s advance in the Barometer was its biggest monthly increase in over 30 years and only the third time in the past decade the Barometer has risen for four consecutive months.

Chicago area business expanded at a surprisingly steep pace with some panelists reporting brisk activity linked to inventory replenishment, increased customer demand, success with new product lines and new distribution channels.

New Orders soared to their highest level in nine years, adding to two prior months of gains while Production expanded to its highest level since February 2011.

Order Backlogs leapt out of a contractionary phase to the highest since March 2011. In line with expansion in New Orders and Production, Employment rose to its highest since June 2013, but remained well below the level of New Orders and Production.

Inventories continued to contract, though at a slower pace, while Prices Paid and Supplier Delivery times declined marginally.

Commenting on the MNI Chicago Report, Philip Uglow, Chief Economist at MNI Indicators said, “The government might have shut down but Chicago area companies powered ahead in October as orders and production surged.”

“While it is a little surprising to see such a large rise in activity, the consistent increase in the Barometer over the past four months suggests the recovery is gaining traction,” he added.

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Here's a 1-year chart of the Chicago Business Barometer (PMI) via


And a chart since 2007 via Bloomberg's Matthew Klein.

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