A closely followed measure of Chicago-area manufacturing and commercial activity fell in March to its lowest reading in nearly three decades, an industry trade group reported Tuesday.
Economists had expected the index compiled by the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago to inch upward to 34.5 from February's weak 34.2. Instead, the index, often referred to as the Chicago PMI, tumbled to 31.4, its worst reading since July 1980.
Under the format used by the ISM-Chicago, a reading above 50 indicates manufacturing is expanding, while a below-50 reading means it is contracting.
And the hits just keep coming....