The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Business Barometer dropped to 56.2 in April from 62.2 in March, the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago said Monday.

The data is compiled on a seasonally adjusted basis. An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion.

Economists predicted a 61.0 reading.

The production index slumped to 57.1 from 68.6, the new orders index decreased to 57.4 from 63.3, the order backlogs rose to 56.8 from 54.3 in the previous survey and inventories fell to 53.9 from 57.4. The employment index increased to 58.7 from 56.3 and the supplier deliveries index was at 55.6, off from 57.8 last month. The prices paid index slid to 68.6 from 70.1.

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