) -- The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer rose to 60, from 56.1, in December.
The monthly increase in the Midwestern business barometer, also known as the Chicago PMI, was well ahead of a
economists' forecast of 55.
Typically, readings of 50 and above in PMI indexes are considered an indication of economic expansion.
The Chicago PMI has increased for over four consecutive months, after a decline between August and September.
The production-index component of the Chicago PMI experienced the biggest jump from November to December, from 57.6 to 65.8 -- its highest level in over a year. The-new order index was up slightly, but enough to also attain its highest level since May 2007.
-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.
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