Chicago-area business activity grew at a slightly faster rate in the month of April, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Monday.
MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer crept up to 57.6 in April from 57.4 in March, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. Economists had expected the barometer to inch up to 57.9.
The uptick by the business barometer came as the production index rose for the first time in four months, reaching its highest level since February.
On the other hand, the new orders index extended the downward momentum shown since the turn of the year, hitting a 15-month low in April.
MNI Indicators said firms’ hiring intentions also moderated in April, with the employment index falling to a six-month low
Meanwhile, the report said input material prices continued to rise in April, soaring to a near-seven-year-high.
“Uncertainty among suppliers appears to be assisting the upward march in prices, but the majority of firms were optimistic any negative impact stemming directly from recently implemented tariffs would be minimal,” said Jamie Satchi, Economist at MNI Indicators.