Midwest Manufacturing Activity Rises in October

An economic snapshot of manufacturing heavy U.S. Midwest points to stronger growth, powered by new orders.

The Chicago Business Barometer, formally known as the Chicago PMI, opened up 2014's final quarter by climbing to a one-year high of 66.2 in October from September's 60.5. Any reading above 50 signals expansion.

The new orders category posted its biggest result since October 2013--73.6--as the overall index indicated strength in the U.S. economy amid concerns about weakening growth in Europe and China. The production and employment subindexes also posted gains

"The strengthening in the Chicago Business Barometer suggests that the U.S. economic recovery is more entrenched," said Philip Uglow, chief economist of MNI indicators. "The October survey also provided clearer evidence that companies are taking on more workers to keep up with higher demand."

Write to Paul Rekoff at paul.rekoff@wsj.com