The Midwest Economy Index declined to negative 0.51 in September from a downwardly revised negative 0.39 in August, its lowest level since November 2009, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The relative MEI posted a negative 0.05 reading in September, up from its revised negative 0.37 reading in August.

Manufacturing subtracted 0.06 from the index in September, after a 0.11 contribution in August, while contributing 0.17 to the relative MEI, off from 0.20 in August.

Construction and mining subtracted 0.15 from MEI in September, after subtracting 0.25 in August, and for relative MEI the sector subtracted 0.04 in September, after subtracting 0.19 in August.

The service sector subtracted 0.07 from MEI in September after subtracting 0.06 in August, while adding 0.04 from relative MEI in September after subtracting 0.17 in August.

Consumer spending took 0.24 from MEI in September, down from a 0.19 subtraction in August, while subtracting 0.21 from relative MEI, after subtracting 0.22 in August.

All five states made negative contributions in August, with Indiana at negative 0.06, Michigan at negative 0.07, Illinois at negative 0.07, Iowa at negative 0.09, and Wisconsin at negative 0.21.

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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