NEW YORK - The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index was steady in March at a seasonally adjusted level of 92.2, as three of the four regional sectors slipped, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday.

Nationally, the Federal Reserve Board's industrial production index for manufacturing fell 0.2% in March. Overall manufacturing output in the region gained 8.6% from a year earlier, compared to 5.0% growth in output nationally in that period.

The February report showed a revised 1.6% increase to 92.2, originally reported as a 1.0% jump to 91.7.

The regional auto sector's output decreased 0.3% in the month, after a 3.0% surge in February, while national output slid 0.1%. Nationally, auto sector output gained 11.4% from a year ago while the Midwest auto sector's output increased 14.2% year-over-year, according to the Fed.

The regional resource sector's output slid 0.2% in March, following a 0.6% rise in February. Nationally, resource output fell 0.1% in the month. Compared to March 2011, regional resource output grew 2.6%, while national resource output rose 1.7%. "The food, paper, and nonmetallic subsectors of the regional resource sector decreased from February to March, but the wood and chemical subsectors increased,” the Fed said.

The regional steel sector's output dipped 0.1% in the month, following a 2.1% gain in February. Nationally, steel sector output was down 0.8% in the month. On a year-over-year basis, steel output grew 11.2% in the region while climbing 8.1% in the nation.

The regional machinery sector's output increased 0.6% in the month, following a 1.4% climb in February. Nationally, machinery sector output grew 0.1% in the month. On a year-over-year basis, machinery output grew 10.4% in the region while rising 5.2% in the nation.

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