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May 31, 2007 10:15 AM, EDT

Chicago Factory Index Rises in May

Manufacturing activity in the Chicago region accelerated in May, the National Association of Purchasing Management said Thursday.

The monthly purchasers’ index rose to 61.7 in May from April’s 52.9 reading, the group said. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

Economists had expected the index to rise to 54, Bloomberg reported.

Chicago is a major center of U.S. manufacturing, which is one of trucking’s largest and most important customers.