The Fed Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Monday its gauge of the national economy rose but still remained stuck in negative territory in November, suggesting a resumption of below-average U.S. growth.

The Chicago Fed said its National Activity index increased to minus 0.32 in November from a revised minus 1.02 in October. The October figure was originally reported at minus 1.08.

The regional central banks said the index's three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, improved to minus 0.77 in November from minus 0.87 in October.

This level of activity remained in a range that has historically been consistent with early stages of a recovery following a recession, the Chicago Fed said in a statement.

Moreover, the latest reading signaled inflation will stay low over the coming year, it said.

Much of the month's improvement came from production-linked indicators, the latest data showed. They made a contribution of 0.35 in November, compared with minus 0.09 in October.

Government incentives and rising global demand have resulted in higher factory outputs in the second half of 2009.

Labor data bogged down the Chicago Fed index by minus 0.12 in November, compared with a minus 0.42 drag in October.

The consumption and housing category's contribution to the index was minus 0.48 in November, roughly unchanged from its value in October. The sales, orders, and inventories category made a contribution of minus 0.07 in November, down slightly from minus 0.02 in October.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)