Midwest Economy Blog
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By Thomas Walstrum       August 12, 2019

Summary Growth in the Seventh Federal Reserve District continued to slow in the second quarter of 2019, and the pace is now moderately below trend. Growth slowed across all sectors, but the slowdown was particularly noticeable in the manufacturing and service sectors. In spite of the slowdown, our business contacts expect the economy to continue to grow over the coming year. Now let’... Read More

By Thomas H. Klier       August 7, 2019

Uncertainties concerning trade policies have been impacting the U.S. economy, as well as those of its neighbors and trading partners in North America. The motor vehicle industry has been especially challenged by these uncertainties, as production operations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are closely linked. A quarter-century ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (N... Read More

By Leslie McGranahan       June 12, 2019

Getting its fiscal house in order has been a perennial challenge for Illinois. Illinois is consistently at the bottom of the list of states when rated by fiscal health. Moreover, Illinois currently (as of June 2019) has the worst state bond rating in the country. Given these low rankings, Illinois clearly has a problem when it comes to fiscal health not only in absolute terms, but also relati... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       May 20, 2019

Summary Growth in the Seventh Federal Reserve District is near its long-term trend, after steadily slowing from a strong rate over the past nine months. The deceleration in growth occurred in both the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors. But while activity is slower compared with a year ago, the economy is still growing at a respectable pace, and conditions in the labor market rem... Read More

By Thomas H. Klier, James Rubenstein       May 3, 2019

Today’s supply chains in motor vehicle production extend well across country borders. According to analysis presented by the Center for Automotive Research, 48% of all light vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2017 were assembled abroad, with more than half of the imported vehicles produced in Canada (11%) or Mexico (14%) (see Schultz et al., 2019). What do we know about the origin of a vehicle’s pa... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       March 27, 2019

From December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019, the federal government was partially shut down. In the latest round of the Chicago Fed Survey of Business Conditions (which was conducted from February 11 through 27), we asked our contacts about the extent to which the shutdown affected their businesses in terms of product demand, business operations, business decisions, and outlook for the U.... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       February 11, 2019

Recently, companies from China have begun to explore direct investments in the Midwest and elsewhere around the world. Direct investment differs from portfolio investment, such as investment in U.S. Treasuries, in that direct investors Summary Growth in the Seventh Federal Reserve District continued to slow through the end of 2018, and the data indicate that the pace decelerated f... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       December 6, 2018

Summary Seventh Federal Reserve District growth has slowed some relative to earlier in the year. That said, the data largely indicate that the District’s economy is still growing at a healthy pace. The manufacturing sector is doing quite well, with most of its subsectors contributing to the sector’s high growth rate. Outside of manufacturing, most sectors continue to experience st... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       November 12, 2018

In the spring of 2018, the Trump administration began imposing higher tariffs on imports of certain goods into the United States. In March, the administration put tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from most countries. And then in July, it placed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. This was followed by tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of Chinese goods in Augus... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       August 10, 2018

Summary: We now have data through the first half of 2018, and they indicate that the Seventh Federal Reserve District's economy did quite well. The manufacturing sector is the primary source of the good performance—growth has been strong enough that there are now signs of some manufacturers running into capacity constraints. While the nonmanufacturing sectors are not running as ho... Read More

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