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Chicago Business Activity Caps Strongest Three Months Since 2011

Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 10:17 AM

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Business activity in the U.S. expanded December, capping the strongest three months in more than two years and adding to signs manufacturing gains will be sustained into 2014.

The MNI Chicago Report business barometer declined to 59.1 from 63 in November. Numbers greater than 50 signal expansion. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey was 60.8.

Manufacturing, which makes up about 12 percent of the economy, has been expanding as demand for automobiles, construction materials and appliances keep factory assembly lines humming. A pickup in business investment and economic improvement overseas would help sustain gains and support economic growth into the new year.

“We’ve had a pretty good updraft in the manufacturing sector in the fourth quarter,” Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, said before the report. “We’re assuming that we’ll see continued outperformance for factories.”

The median forecast of 40 economists in a Bloomberg survey was 60.8. Estimates ranged from 58 to 65. The index averaged 62.7 over the past three months, the highest since the period ended May 2011.

--With assistance from Kristy Scheuble in Washington. Editors: Carlos Torres, Vince Golle

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanna Smialek in Washington at jsmialek1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
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Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Business activity in the U.S. expanded December, capping the strongest three months in more than two years and adding to signs manufacturing gains will be sustained into 2014.The MNI Chicago Report business barometer declined to 59.1 from 63 in...
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Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 10:17 AM
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