The MNI Chicago Report business barometer fell to 63 in November from 65.9 a month earlier. Readings above 50 signal expansion.
The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of 55 economists was 60. Estimates ranged from 53.3 to 65. The index averaged 54.6 in 2012 and 62.8 in 2011.
Other figures today showed fewer Americans than projected filed jobless claims last week and orders for big-ticket items declined in October.
Applications for unemployment benefits decreased by 10,000 to 316,000 in the week ended Nov. 23, the fewest in two months, the Labor Department said in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for an increase to 330,000 claims.
Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years fell 2 percent last month after a 4.1 percent gain in September, Commerce Department data showed. Excluding transportation equipment, where demand is often volatile month to month, orders dropped 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent gain.
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