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The Institute for Supply Management released its Chicago purchasing managers' index on Monday. The Chicago purchasing managers' index dropped to 47.6 in February from 55.6 in January, missing expectations for a decrease to 53.0.
A reading above the 50 mark indicates expansion, a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
The decline was mainly driven by drop in production and in new orders. The production index plunged to 44.0 in February from 62.5 in January, while the new orders declined sharply.
The employment index fell to the lowest level since November 2009.
"If one looks beyond the gyrations seen over the past three months then trend activity has been running a little below the 50 neutral mark, highlighting continued sluggish activity levels, with manufacturers under particular pressure. It looks like activity should pick up during Q1," Chief Economist of MNI Indicators Philip Uglow said.