US Midwest Business Index Picks Up From 3-Year Low

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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.

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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.