A report released by MNI Indicators on Friday unexpectedly showed a notable acceleration in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of July.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer jumped to 73.4 in July from 66.1 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. Economists had expected the business barometer to come in unchanged.

The unexpected increase by the business barometer came as the production index surged up by 8.8 points to a two-month high, as demand remained high and some firms benefited from supply chain issues.

The report said the new orders index also shot up by 5.4 points during the month, while the employment index increased by 3.4 points.

The supplier deliveries index was unchanged at its highest level since March of 1974, with firms noting that delivery delays and a lack of workforce availability remained a problem.

MNI indicators said the prices paid index edged down by 0.3 points but remained at a historically high level amid higher prices for materials and freight.

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