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Why Thermostats, Crowded Trains and Eating Out Matter

Chicago Economy

Sometimes the most comforting economic indicators come from the most unexpected places. You can look at a strong Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and unexpectedly robust retail sales to see a positive outlook for the Chicago economy, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. But here are some more surprising signs that the city’s financial confidence, and real estate in turn, is improving:

  • ComEd seeing its highest growth in electricity consumption since the recession (well, this one’s only good news if you’re not footing the bill).
  • CTA rail ridership up, especially in the Loop and River North (hence the boost in TOD).
  • We spent $700M more eating out in 2014 compared with 2013 (better cozy up to those restaurant tenants).