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)