November 17, 2021

Shortages are sapping the U.S. recovery, survey of Chicago economy shows

A measure of business conditions in the Chicago region slipped in August, but not because of delta: Most companies said they still can’t get enough supplies or labor to keep up with new orders.

The Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago PMI, fell to 66.8 last month from 73.4 in July.

Just a few months earlier, the index had touched a 47-year high.

A surge in demand after the economy mostly reopened this year has forced businesses to scramble to keep up. Yet many can’t get enough materials on time to keep assembly lines running at full tilt. And finding enough labor to do the job has also become a major headache.

These problem are not just in the Chicago area. These are hurting the entire U.S. economy.

As a result, companies have big backlogs of orders that are going unfilled. These problems are expected to clear up eventually…

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