This morning, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released October 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 overall MEI improved to -0.43 in October from -0.55 in September, although the negative value indicates that the Midwest economy is still expanding at a rate below its historical trend. The relative MEI, a measure of Midwest economic activity relative to the nation, decreased to -0.14 in October from -0.05 in September.
All five states made negative contributions to the MEI in October. Due to negative contributions in the manufacturing (-0.03), construction (-0.03), services (-0.01), and consumer (-0.01) sectors, Illinois made a negative contribution overall (-0.08). The following chart illustrates contributions to the MEI by sector for Illinois and the Midwest as a whole in October 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.
For 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.