US Midwest Business Unexpectedly Stronger in July

Business activity in the U.S. Midwest rose unexpectedly in July, snapping a five-month run of contraction on the back of a small expansion in new orders, a report showed on Thursday.

The National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago business barometer rose to 50.8 from 49.6 in June.

Economists had forecast the index at 49.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The employment component of the index fell to 45.9 from 46.7 in June. Prices paid rose to 90.7 from 85.5 and new orders rose to 53.5 from 52.0.