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U.S. Economy: Business Activity Picks Up, Claims Fall

Business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly accelerated and fewer workers filed claims for jobless benefits, easing concern the world’s largest economy is retrenching further.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer climbed to 60.4 in September, exceeding the highest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The number of applicants for unemployment insurance payments fell more than projected last week, another report showed.