Business activity in the Chicago area unexpectedly increased at a notably faster rate in the month of October, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Friday.
MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer jumped to 66.2 in October from 60.5 in September, with a reading above 50 indicating an increase in regional business activity.
The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the business barometer to dip to a reading of 60.0. The unexpected increase lifted the barometer to its highest level in a year.
A significant improvement in new orders growth contributed to the increase by the business barometer, with the new orders index jumping to a one-year high of 73.6.
The production index also rebounded following a sharp drop in the previous month, while the employment index rose to its highest level since last November.