The April Midwest Economy Index climbed to 0.53 from an unrevised 0.52 in March, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said Thursday.

The relative MEI dropped to 0.18 from a revised 0.31 in March, first reported as 0.13.

Manufacturing added 0.42 to the index, after contributing 0.46 to the index in March, while adding 0.29 to the relative MEI, after a 0.39 contribution in March.

Construction and mining added 0.08 in the month, after a 0.07 contribution in March, while contributing 0.11 to relative MEI index after a 0.12 addition in March.

The service sector MEI subtracted 0.03 after a 0.04 subtraction in the prior month, while subtracting 0.26 from relative MEI after a 0.22 subtraction in March.

Consumer spending added 0.06 to MEI, after a 0.02 contribution in March, while adding 0.03 to relative MEI in March, after a 0.01 contribution the prior month.

By state, Wisconsin contributed 0.23 in April, Michigan contributed 0.12, Illinois added 0.10, Iowa added 0.06, and Indiana contributed 0.03.

The index is a weighted average of 129 state and regional indicators encompassing the five states in the Seventh Federal Reserve District (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin). The index measures growth in nonfarm business activity.

A zero value for the MEI indicates that the Midwest economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values are associated with below-trend growth while positive values indicate above-trend growth. A zero value for the relative MEI indicates that the Midwest economy is growing at a rate historically consistent with the growth of the national economy; positive values indicate above-average relative growth; and negative values indicate below-average relative growth.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.