The Chicago Business Barometer showed production rising in June, but new orders falling slightly, the Institute for Supply Management said.
With numbers above 50 indicating expansion, the Chicago association's headline business barometer for May, compiled by Kingsbury International Ltd., rose slightly from 52.7 in May to 52.9 in June.
Among composite indexes, the production index rose sharply, climbing from an even 50 to 57, regaining most of what it had lost from April to May.
The index for new orders fell from 52.9 in May to 51.9 in June.
The inventories index rose from 49.4 to 53.5, returning to growth. The employment index, meanwhile, rose from 57 to 60.4.
The index covers businesses in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.