Chicago Business Barometer & Research

Monthly Survey - Chicago Business Barometer 

The ISM Chicago Business Survey, is a regional view of the national economy; is a time-tested, market-moving report.  The Chicago Report is available to subscribers on the last working day each month.   The Chicago Business Barometer summarizes  current Business Activity.  The Barometer is considered to be a leading indicator of the U.S.A. economy.

For more than seven decades, the Chicago Business Barometer has been providing leading insight on the U.S. economy.  The Chicago Business Barometer is delivered to subscribers via the MNI Chicago Report, a monthly report published by MNI Indicators that presents valuable information on the U.S. economic activity and a fresh look at current U.S. business conditions.  The report consists of seven Business Activity indicators and three Buying Policy indicators that represent activity and preformance levels compared to the prior month.

Purchasing and Supply Management professionals in the Chicago area, primarily members of ISM Chicago, are polled to assess business conditions for their respective companies every month.

For more information about the Chicago Business Barometer and MNI Indicators products, please contact

Periodically, ISM Chicago may invite our members and community to participate in additional research. 



November - Chicago Business Barometer


Chicago Business Barometer tumbled a further eight points to 37.2, in November, contracting for a third consecutive month.  Excluding the 2020 pandemic shock, this was the lowest reading since the 2008/9 Global Financial Crisis.

After marginal improvement in October, only Employment and Inventories recorded November upticks.  All other indexes saw mark declines.


Press Release


Rail strike potential grows, threatening to worsen supply chain backlogs, inflation



Two months after the White House helped broker a deal to avoid a freight rail workers strike, negotiations have soured ahead of Monday's deadline to ratify their contracts.

Worker pay and benefits continue to be issues causing an impasse, with up to five unions.  Dissent has been brewing with labor, since the initial announcement was first announced.  Will Congress need to step in to avert a strike?

Full Story: NBC News (11/17)


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How good is your supplier experience - and why you should make it better



Supplier's are in the pilot sit.  They have to decide who to fulfill first.  Just like the organization has a focus on our customers, we need to have a plan that opens lines of communication with our suppliers, to be their customer of choice.

Procurious did a "Voice of the Supplier" survey, back in September 2022.  One key takeaway, all procurement professional should prepare their organization is "10 ways to build your supplier empathy."  Procurious provides access to their findings, to help you on your journey.

Full Story: Procurious (11/14)


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Special Question - November

The November Chicago Business Barometer again asked firms whether they were seeing supply chains easing.  

See breakout of responses in graph.