Chicago PMI jumps in February (by Steve Goldstein)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A measure of Chicago-area manufacturing accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace in February. The Chicago business barometer rose to 71.2 from 68.8 in January, a reading above the 67.7 forecast by economists. The reading fell just below the 71.5 hit in July 1988. The big jump was led by a rise in production, though employment eased slightly from its high in January, to 59.8. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.