The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index rose 1.9% in March to a seasonally adjusted level of 85.0, as all four regional sectors showed improvement, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Wednesday.

Nationally, the Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index for manufacturing grew 0.7% in March. Overall manufacturing output in the region gained 12.5% from a year earlier, compared to 7.1% growth in output nationally in that period.

The February report showed a revised 1.3% increase to 83.4, originally reported as a 1.3% gain to 83.3.

The regional auto sector’s output increased 4.7% in the month, after a 4.0% jump in February, while national output was 1.8% better. Nationally, auto sector output gained 9.4% from a year ago while the Midwest auto sector’s output increased 20.3% year-over-year, according to the Fed.

The regional steel sector’s output increased 2.3% in the month, following a 1.2% rise in February. Nationally, steel sector output was up 0.8% in the month. On a year-over-year basis, steel output grew 19.7% in the region while climbing 11.4% in the nation.

The regional machinery sector’s output grew 1.6% in March following a 0.8% increase in February. Nationally, machinery sector output jumped 0.4% in March. On a year-over-year basis, machinery output grew 17.1% in the region while rising 13.5% in the nation.

The regional resource sector’s output climbed 0.9% in March, following a 0.8% fall in February. Nationally, resource output was 0.9% higher in the month. Compared to March 2010, regional resource output was up 3.4%, while national resource output rose 2.8%.

“The wood, paper, chemical, and nonmetallic subsectors of the regional resource sector increased from February to March, while the food subsector decreased,” the Fed said.

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