Chicago, IL, Jan. 31, 2013 -- The Chicago purchasing managers index, a measure of manufacturing activity, rose to 55.6% in January, it best performance in nine months, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
Economists had expected a reading 49.8%. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
New orders posted the biggest increase in 10 months, advancing to 58.2% from 50.4% in December. The production index rose to 60.9%, while employment increased to 58.0% from 46.8%.