March Midwest growth up on strength in manufacturing: Chicago Fed

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The March Midwest Economy Index climbed to 0.52 from a revised 0.41 in February, first reported as 0.44, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said Monday.

The relative MEI dropped to 0.13 from a revised 0.43 in February, first reported as 0.31.

Manufacturing added 0.47 to the index, after contributing 0.43 to the index in February, while adding 0.32 to the relative MEI, after a 0.55 contribution in February.

Construction and mining added 0.07 in the month, after a 0.01 contribution in February, while contributing 0.11 to relative MEI index after a 0.06 addition in February.

The service sector MEI subtracted 0.04 after a 0.03 subtraction in the prior month, while subtracting 0.30 from relative MEI after a 0.20 subtraction in February.

Consumer spending added 0.021 to MEI, after a 0.01 subtraction in February, while offering a neutral contribution to relative MEI in March, after a 0.02 contribution the prior month.

By state, Wisconsin contributed 0.24 in March, Michigan contributed 0.14, Illinois added 0.12, Iowa added 0.03, and Indiana was neutral.

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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Economic indicators Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago