Economic Report: Chicago-area economy ends 2017 on a tear, as production hits 34-year high, PMI shows

The Chicago region is on fire economically, like many other regions in the U.S.

The numbers: The Chicago PMI rose to 67.6 in December from 63.9, finishing 2017 at the highest level in six years. The index measures how well the economy in the Chicago region is performing.

Any reading over 50 indicates improving conditions, and numbers above 60 are exceptional.

What happened: The amount of goods and services produced in the Chicago region hit a 34-year peak, reflecting steadily rising demand. New orders touched a 3½ year high, noted MNI Indicators, publisher of the report.

Also Read: Fewest Americans in 44 years have applied for jobless benefits in 2017

Big picture: The Chicago PMI is the latest in a series of economic signposts that show the U.S. finishing 2017 with a good head of steam headed into 2018. Companies expect the economy to expand at a solid 2% to 2.5% annual clip next year, perhaps even better.

What they are saying?: “Sentiment among businesses started 2017 in good shape and only impressed more as the year progressed,” said Jamie Satchi, economist at MNI Indicators. He added that “there is every chance this form could be carried over into 2018.”

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.16% and S&P 500 index SPX, +0.05% rose slightly Thursday in light holiday-season trading.

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