Crain’s Headlines: US Manufacturing at 10-Year Low


A key gauge of U.S. manufacturing strength has registered the lowest reading in more than 10 years as exports dove amid the escalating trade war.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index from the Institute for Supply Management came in Tuesday at 47.8% in September. That’s the lowest since June 2009, marking the second consecutive month of contraction. Any figure below 50% signals a contraction.

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After the report’s release Tuesday morning, Treasury yields plummeted, the dollar erased gains and U.S. stocks swung to losses. The ISM’s employment measure also dropped to the lowest level since January 2016. That’s a worrying sign before a jobs report Friday that’s forecast to show private payroll growth remains subdued.

In other Chicago business news:

Crate & Barrel has plans to bring more than 200 jobs to southwest suburban Romeoville.

The furniture and housewares retailer aims to open a massive fulfillment center there to fill orders for its growing online business.

The industrial real estate developer Pizzuti will build the Crate & Barrel warehouse in the Pinnacle Business Center, a 900-acre development near Weber Road and Interstate 55. Crate & Barrel, which is headquartered in Northbrook, is expected to start using the fulfillment center in March 2021.

And finally, Illinois is joining a handful of other states considering legislation to pressure the NCAA into allowing college athletes to sign endorsement deals.

The Illinois bill is modeled after a California initiative that would guarantee athletes the right to profit from their identities, allowing them to sign deals with apparel companies or other businesses. If passed, it would go into effect in 2023, giving the NCAA time to independently change its own rules on a national scale.


Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 


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