The Chicago Business Barometer was unchanged at 58.9 in August.

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 59.2 reading for the index.

“While marking the eighteenth consecutive above-50 reading, this month’s unchanged result follows July’s sharp decline that snapped a run of five straight monthly increases in sentiment,” according to a release. “Apart from Employment, all other components of the Barometer were above their respective levels seen last August with all of them were above their January levels, pointing to robust confidence among US firms.”

New orders and production both rose slightly after “hefty falls last month.”

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