The Chicago Purchasing Managers' Business Barometer rose to 62.6 in November from 58.4 in October, the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago said Wednesday.
The data is compiled on a seasonally adjusted basis. An index reading below 50 signals a slowing economy, while a level above 50 suggests expansion.
Economists predicted a 58.0 reading for the indicator.
The production index gained to 67.3 from 63.4, the new orders index increased to 70.2 from 61.3, the order backlogs grew to 55.1 from 51.2 and inventories fell to 53.6 from 54.4. The employment index decreased to 56.9 from 62.3, and the supplier deliveries index was at 56.6, up from 55.8 last month. The prices paid index slid to 60.2 from 66.0.