The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Business Barometer slid to 56.5 in August from 58.8 in July, the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago said Wednesday.

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 53.0 reading for the indicator.

The production index fell to 57.8 from 64.3, the new orders index decreased to 56.9 from 59.4, the order backlogs slid to 49.6 from 55.7 and inventories dipped to 52.9 from 53.2.

The employment index grew to 52.1 from 51.5 and the supplier deliveries index was at 60.5, up from 55.9 last month.

The prices paid index fell to 68.6 from 71.7.

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