The Chicago Business Barometer remained below neutral for the second consecutive month, according to data released Wednesday by a regional professional association.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported that production slowed, while new orders lost ground, but at a slower pace. Capital equipment lead times grew while production materials tightened.The group said its index of manufacturing activity fell to 47.9 in February, from 48.8 in January.
The employment index has been essentially flat over the past four months and not supportive of increased demand in 2007. Supplier deliveries, with faster deliveries meaning slower business, was a light of hope in January that grew dimmer in February.
Data collected by the Chicago Business Barometer found that a small majority of businesses reported lower business activity in February compared to January.
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