Business barometer drops, but still suggests growth
Business activity expanded in October at about the same pace as in the prior month, a sign that overseas demand and business investment will help keep the economy expanding, Bloomberg reported. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today that its business barometer dropped to 58.4 in October from 60.4 the prior month. A level of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction. The group’s employment gauge climbed to a six-month high. Improving consumer spending lifted sales at manufacturers. Economists watch the Chicago index and other regional manufacturing reports for an early reading on the national outlook. The Chicago group says its membership includes both manufacturers and service providers with operations in the United States and abroad, making the gauge a measure of overall growth.