* Chicago PMI posts biggest monthly drop since October 2008
* July U.S. vehicle sales seen cooling from 8-year high
(Adds background on latest data)
July 31 The pace of business activity in the
U.S. Midwest in July sank to its slowest since June 2013,
signaling a sharp deceleration in that region's economy, a
report showed on Thursday.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business
barometer tumbled to 52.6 in July from 62.6 in June. Economists
had been looking for a July reading of 63.0.
The index's 10-point decline in July was the largest monthly
decrease since a 19-point plunge in October 2008 in the
aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers during the global
Two months earlier, the Chicago PMI, which is heavily
influenced by the U.S. auto industry, stood at 65.5, a
On Friday, domestic automakers are scheduled to release
their July vehicle sales figures. Economists polled by Reuters
forecast an annualized sales rate of 16.7 million units in July,
slower than the 16.98 million pace in June which was its
strongest in nearly eight years.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and