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US Midwest Business Index Picks Up From 3-Year Low

Thierry Dosogne | Riser | Getty Images

The pace of business activity in the U.S. Midwest picked up in January from a more than three-year low the month before as new orders jumped, a report showed on Thursday.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer rose to its highest since April 2012 at 55.6 from 50.0 in December, easily topping economists' forecasts for 50.5.

(Click here to track the U.S. stock market following the economic report.)

December's revised reading had been the lowest since September 2009. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.

The gauge of new orders gained to 58.2 from 50.4, while the employment component climbed to 58.0 from 46.8.

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