An economic snapshot of the manufacturing heavy Midwest climbed in January, fueled by orders, output and a big surge in employment.
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The Chicago Business Barometer, commonly called the Chicago PMI, rose to 59.4 this month, from December's revised 58.8, after two-consecutive months of declines.
Pushing the headline number higher was the employment component hitting its highest level in 14 months. Strong growth in the orders and output subindexes also contributed. Of the barometer's five components, only supplier deliveries fell.
"This is a solid start to 2015 with current growth in orders and output consistent with ongoing strength in U.S. GDP," said the report's chief economist, Philip Uglow.
"The January survey showed that strength we saw in the second half of 2014 is having a significantly positive impact on employment," Mr. Uglow added.
The indicator is based on a survey of regional purchasing managers. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.