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Business Activity in Chicago Area Expanded More Than Forecast

Chicago Manufacturing
A worker makes parts for commercial coffee grinding equipment at the Modern Process Equipment Inc. manufacturing facility in Chicago. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Business activity in the Chicago area expanded more than forecast in January, adding to signs that manufacturing gains will be sustained in 2014.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc.’s barometer decreased to 59.6 this month from 60.8 in December, the group said today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists of 56 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decline to 59. Readings greater than 50 signal growth.

Car sales, home construction and consumer spending continue to boost the outlook for manufacturers, which make up 12 percent of the economy. Faster wage growth and more job creation would lead to bigger and sustained gains.

Economists’ projections ranged from 56 to 63.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorraine Woellert in Washington at lwoellert@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Carlos Torres at ctorres2@bloomberg.net

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