Chicago-area business activity unexpectedly grew at a faster rate in the month of May, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Tuesday.
MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer rose to 60.3 in May from 56.4 in April, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. The increase surprised economists, who had expected the business barometer to dip to 55.0.
The unexpected rebound by the business barometer came as the production index jumped 10 points, while the new orders index advanced by 8.6 points.
The employment index also inched up by 0.6 points to 46.1, although MNI Indicators noted recruiting for production and distribution remained difficult.
MNI Indicators said the inventories index climbed 4.5 points to a nearly 50-year high of 69.1, as firms again expanded their inventories to buffer for further supply disruptions and shortages.
The report also showed the prices paid index rose by 2.5 points to 88.6, with over three-quarters of firms inferring higher prices.
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