This morning, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released April 2012 figures for its Midwest Economy Index (MEI), a weighted average of 129 indicators designed to measure growth in nonfarm business activity in the Midwest (IL, IN, MI, WI, IA).
The relative MEI, a measure of Midwest economic activity relative to the nation, increased to +0.64 in April from +0.20 in March; an indication that the Midwest economy is outperforming with respect to national trends. This marks the sixth consecutive month where the midwest economy has exceeded national trends. The overall MEI decreased to +0.76 in April from +0.82 in March, but its positive value is still and indication of above-trend economic growth in the Midwest.
All five states made positive contributions to the MEI in April, including Illinois (+0.17), where growth in the MEI was led by positive contributions from the manufacturing sector (+0.13) and consumer spending (+0.05) . Slight month-over-month decreases were reported in the construction and mining and service sectors across the Midwest, whose index contributions decreased by a respective 0.02 and 0.01. The following chart illustrates Illinois’ by sector contributions and Midwest overall by sector contributions to the MEI in April 2012.
The following chart illustrates five-year trend lines for the MEI and Relative MEI indexes. The MEI captures both national and regional factors driving Midwest growth, and the relative MEI provides a picture of Midwest growth conditions relative to those of the nation.
1For additional details on the most recent CFNAI-MA3, refer to World Business Chicago’s summary.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Please refer to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank press release for a more detailed explanation.