The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Business Barometer slid to 67.6 in April from 70.6 in March, the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago said Thursday.
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 polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 69.0 reading for the indicator.
The production index fell to 70.0 from 74.2 and the new orders index decreased to 66.3 from 74.5.
The order backlogs fell to 62.4 from 69.6 in the previous survey, and inventories slipped to 53.5 from 60.5.
The employment index decreased to 63.7 from 65.6 and the supplier deliveries index increased to 68.4, up from 62.7 last month. The prices paid index slid to 81.8 from 83.4.