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U.S. Midwest business barometer shows contraction in October

Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:59 PM ET

CHICAGO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Business activity in the U.S. Midwest contracted for a second month in October, a report showed on Wednesday, although the forward-looking measure for new orders rose.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer rose slightly to 49.9, from 49.7 in September. Economists had forecast a reading of 51.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the regional economy.

The forward-looking new orders index rose to 50.6 from 47.4. while the gauge of employment sank to 50.3, from 52.0.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)