The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Business Barometer slid to 56.6 in May from 67.6 in April, the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago said Tuesday.

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

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 63.0 reading for the indicator.

The production index fell to 56.0 from 70.0 in the previous survey, the new orders index decreased to 53.5 from 66.3, the order backlogs fell to 51.7 from 62.4, and inventories gained to 61.6 from 53.5.

The employment index decreased to 60.8 from 63.7 and the supplier deliveries index was at 63.8, off from 68.4 last month. The prices paid index slid to 78.6 from 81.8.

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