Business Activity Gains Momentum in Midwest

The pace of business activity in the U.S. Midwest picked up more than expected in February to its highest level in 10 months as new orders and employment gained, a report showed on Wednesday.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago's business barometer climbed to 64.0 from 60.2 in January, topping economists' expectations for 61.5.

It was the highest level since April 2011. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.

New orders accelerated to its highest level since March at 69.2 from 63.6. The employment component of the index jumped to its highest level since May 1984 at 64.2 from 54.7.