The Midwest Economy Index declined to negative 0.10 in July from a revised positive 0.22 in June, its first below-average growth in nine months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The relative MEI posted a negative 0.01 reading in July, down from its revised positive 0.61 reading in June.

Manufacturing contributed 0.33 to the index in July, after a 0.45 contribution in June, while contributing 0.46 to the relative MEI, off from 0.68 in June.

Construction and mining subtracted 0.30 from MEI in July, after subtracting 0.28 in June, and for relative MEI the sector subtracted 0.25 in July, after subtracting 0.20 in June.

The service sector subtracted 0.07 from MEI in July after subtracting 0.02 in June, while subtracting 0.17 from relative MEI in July after contributing 0.02 in June.

Consumer spending took 0.06 from MEI in July, down from a 0.07 contribution in June, while subtracting 0.05 from relative MEI in July after a 0.11 contribution in June.

The index is a weighted average of 128 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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