The Chicago Federal Reserve said today that its measure of U.S. economic activity strengthened in April to its highest level since 2014, implying an acceleration in productivity and hiring following a sluggish first quarter, Reuters reports.

The regional central bank's national activity index rose to 0.49 last month, which was the highest since 0.50 in November 2014.

"Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from March, and only one category made a negative contribution to the index in April," the Chicago Fed said.

The benefits from production-related indicators rose to 0.46 point from 0.01 point in March, while employment-related data contributed 0.10 point to the index's increase in April, more than March's 0.05 point.

Personal consumption and housing indicators subtracted 0.08 point from the index, higher than the 0.06 point drag in March.

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