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US upper Midwest factory activity contracts in April

[MILWAUKEE] A private measure of factory activity in the upper US Midwest region fell in April because of declines in production and supplier deliveries, Marquette University and the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee said on Thursday.

Their index on manufacturing in the Milwaukee region fell to 48.08 in April from a revised 53.25 in March. A reading below 50 means regional manufacturing activity is contracting.

The regional activity index has been above 50 for 17 of the previous 20 months.

The survey's production gauge fell to 45.13 from 52.72 in March, while its measure on supplier deliveries slid to 38.57 from 60.02.

There were some bright spots in the latest survey. The new orders component grew to 57.42 from 54.42 in March, and the measure on employment rebounded to 52.62 from 46.14 in March.