The Chicago Business Barometer declined to 61.9 in February from 65.7 in January.
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.
IFR Markets predicted a 64.6 reading for the index.
“Business activity continued to expand in February, although at a softer pace than in January,” according to a release, “All five of the Barometer components receded on the month, but despite a second straight monthly fall, the Barometer was still up 8% on last February and above the 2017 average of 60.8.”
“As in January, firms reported a slower pace of both incoming orders and output in February,” the release noted. “The New Orders indicator fell to a six-month low, contributing the most to the Barometer’s decline, while the Production indicator also fell in February, down to a level last seen lower in September. Despite trending lower recently, however, both indicators remain elevated relative to recent years.”