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Chicago business activity index rose to 49.4 in June from 46.2

[WASHINGTON] Business activity in the Chicago area shrank in June at a slower pace.

While the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc's business barometer rose to 49.4 this month from 46.2 in May, readings lower than 50 indicate contraction. The median forecast of 42 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for the measure to rise to 50, with estimates ranging from 47.5 to 55.

The report showed orders grew this month, while factory employment contracted at a faster pace.

The national factory index, produced by the Institute for Supply Management in Tempe, Arizona, may show manufacturing continued to firm this month. The index probably increased to 53.1 in June from a 52.8 reading the month before, according to the median projection in a Bloomberg survey ahead of the report's release Wednesday.