Chicago By The Numbers from World Business Chicago….
I love hearing good news.. even when the good news is still bad. But jobs are key.. they open up the consumer spending… and local jobs are even more important because businesses that are hanging on by a shoe string and need that extra customer etc… need this shift to happen now before we have more vacancies and commercial market drops.
I like the world business Chicago site… in that it gauges “several aspects of Chicago’s regional economy, including employment in major sectors, residential and office real estate data, price and purchasing indexes, and auto and truck sales.”
Key points to focus on …
There were 116,000 housing starts in the Midwest in February; this reflects an increase of 25,000 starts over the previous month.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, a monthly index tracking manufacturing activity, continued to rise in February to a value of 62.6; Chicago’s February value is now more than six points higher than the national index, and is the highest value the region has posted since July 2005.
Unemployment in the Chicago region fell to 11.4 percent in February, a figure that is still more than a full percentage point above the national level of 9.7 percent, but the first decrease since August 2009.
The Consumer Confidence Index fell by more than ten points to 46.4 in February but showing a 21.4-point improvement over its February 2009 value.
For the first time in six months, the Chicago region saw a decrease in unemployment, though this measure is still more than a full percentage point above the national level. In February, housing starts were up by 25,000 over the previous month, and the Chicago Purchasing Index saw its highest value since July 2005, indicating that the region’s manufacturing sector is beginning to experience stronger, sustained growth.