Midwest Economy Blog
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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

By Thomas Walstrum       May 22, 2018

Summary: Growth in the Seventh Federal Reserve District picked up from an already healthy pace during the first quarter of 2018, with almost all indicators pointing to above-trend growth. The manufacturing sector was doing especially well, with good results spread across manufacturing subsectors. Outside manufacturing, most sectors returned to about trend growth, up from a lull that botto... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       May 14, 2018

On March 1 of this year, the Trump administration announced its intention to implement import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. The tariffs went into effect on March 23. At the moment, a number of our major trading partners are excluded from the tariffs: For the time being, Canada, Mexico, the European Union (EU), South Korea, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil are among th... Read More

By Thomas Haasl, Rick Mattoon, Thomas Walstrum       May 7, 2018

Note: This post is based on previous work presented by the same authors at the forum “Navigating Pension Reform in Illinois: What Lies Ahead”, held on April 17, 2018 at the Chicago Fed. The original presentation is available here. The State of Illinois has a very large unfunded pension liability and will likely have to pay much of it off by raising taxes. The Illinois Commission ... Read More

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