The market was expecting a value of 51.0 versus the reported value of 51.6. A number below 50 indicates contraction. This value is slightly better than November's 50.4 and October's 49.9.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the Chicago Business Barometer was up for a third month, lumbering along since September's 3 year low. The Business Barometer was guided higher almost exclusively by a sizable advance in New Orders. In spite of the rise in the Chicago Business Barometer, five of the seven business activity indexes declined in December, most significantly the Employment Index.
• NEW ORDERS: Biggest advance in 19 months;
• EMPLOYMENT: Contracted to 3 year low;
• ORDER BACKLOGS: Fifth consecutive month in contraction.
• CAPITAL EQUIPMENT: Near the 28 month low.
The Chicago ISM is important as it is a window into the national ISM reports which will be issued shortly. When you compare the graph below of the ISM Manufacturing Index against the Chicago PMI - you can see there is a general correlation in trends, but not necessarily correlation in values.
source and read the full report: Chicago PMI