April 30, 2007 10:05 AM, EDT

Chicago Manufacturing Activity Slows

A gauge of Chicago manufacturing activity fell in April, the National Association of Purchasing Management said Monday.

The monthly purchasers’ index fell to 52.9 from March’s 61.7 reading, the group said. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

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

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