Chicago Manufacturing Gauge Hits 23-Year High

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector in the U.S. unexpectedly grew in February at the fastest pace in in almost 23 years, indicating manufacturing continues to expand. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its business barometer rose to 71.2 in February, the highest since July 1988, from 68.8 in January (figures greater than 50 signal expansion). The big jump was led by a rise in production and new orders.

Economists had projected the index, which printed its 17th straight month of expansion, would fall to a 67.5 reading, Bloomberg reported.

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