Manufacturing activity improved for the third straight month in the Chicago region in August. The Chicago purchasing managers index rose to 50% in August from 43.4 in July, according to a survey of corporate purchasing managers released Monday. This is just on the threshold of growth and the highest reading since last summer. Readings over 50% indicate overall business expansion.
The Chicago PMI is considered a leading indicator to the national Institute for Supply Management manufacturers' survey to be released on Tuesday. The median forecast for ISM manufacturing composite is for an increase to 50.5 from a July reading of 48.9. The ISM index has not been above 50 since January 2008 at the beginning of the recession.