NEW YORK - The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index surged 2.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted level of 94.2, as three of the four regional sectors gained, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Tuesday.

Nationally, the Federal Reserve Board's industrial production index for manufacturing grew 0.6% in April. Overall manufacturing output in the region gained 12.0% from a year earlier, compared to 5.8% growth in output nationally in that period.

The March report showed a revised 0.3% decrease to 92.0, originally reported as a flat reading at 92.2.

The regional auto sector's output increased 7.6% in the month, after a 0.4% decline in March, while national output rose 2.1%. Nationally, auto sector output soared 16.4% from a year ago while the Midwest auto sector's output surged 28.2% year-over-year, according to the Fed.

The regional steel sector's output gained 0.7% in the month, following a 0.4% drop in March. Nationally, steel sector output was up 0.5% in the month. On a year-over-year basis, steel output grew 10.7% in the region while climbing 7.6% in the nation.

The regional machinery sector's output increased 0.6% in the month, following a 0.8% climb in March. Nationally, machinery sector output soared 0.9% in the month. On a year-over-year basis, machinery output grew 11.5% in the region while rising 6.6% in the nation.

The regional resource sector's output slid 0.1% in April, following a 0.8% slip in March. Nationally, resource output was flat in the month. Compared to April 2011, regional resource output grew 1.4%, while national resource output rose 0.9%. "The food and wood subsectors of the regional resource sector decreased from March to April, but the paper, chemical, and nonmetallic subsectors increased,” the Fed said.

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