The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Business Barometer fell to 58.8 in March from 62.6 in February, the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago said yesterday.

The purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, is compiled on a seasonally adjusted basis. An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion.

While the March number was down from February’s 62.6, a nearly five-year high, it still represented the sixth straight month of economic expansion.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 61.0 reading for the indicator.

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