Midwest Economy Blog
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By Chicago Fed Staff Writer       November 9, 2023

As the third quarter of 2023 came to a close, the Midwest's harvest was starting to come in—and stronger than expected, given the drought conditions earlier in the year. That good news from the field was tempered somewhat in the November 2023 issue of the Chicago Fed's AgLetter, which also documented slowing growth in overall agricultural land values in the Bank's Seventh Federal Reserve District... Read More

By Elainia Gupta, Thomas Walstrum       September 28, 2023

Soon after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the housing market in the United States began booming. From January 2020 through August 2022, the price of the typical U.S. home increased by 40% according to the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI).1 Home prices have eased some since the summer of 2022, but they remain much higher than they were a few years ago. In this post,... Read More

By Chicago Fed Staff Writer       August 10, 2023

Seventh District farmland values continued to rise in the second quarter of 2023, but for the first time in two years they did not experience a year-over-year double-digit percent gain. This slower growth in agricultural land values, the softening in some key commodity prices, and rising farm loan interest rates make up much of the story told in the August 2023 issue of the Chicago F... Read More

By Elizabeth Kepner, Thomas Walstrum       August 4, 2023

The pace of economic growth continued to slow in the Seventh Federal Reserve District1 during the first half of 2023. While total employment was still growing during the first six months of this year, the pace was slower than in 2022—and for manufacturing employment, even more so. As demand weakened and supply chain pressures subsided, manufacturers began reporting higher-than-comfortable invent... Read More

By Martin Lavelle       August 2, 2023

Will commercial real estate (CRE) be the next stressor in the financial system? That’s the question that some are asking, especially with a significant percentage of CRE loans maturing in a high interest rate environment that makes refinancing properties more difficult. Adding to the concern is the amount of CRE floating rate debt that is set to adjust in the current high interest rate environme... Read More

By Emma LaGuardia, Rick Mattoon       May 24, 2023

Part of the U.S. federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is economic assistance for state, local, and tribal governments. This assistance is distributed through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program. Funds allocated by the program can only be used for costs incurred after March 3, 2021, and they must be obligated by the end of 20... Read More

By Chicago Fed Staff Writer       May 11, 2023

Coming off a banner year, Seventh District agriculture remains in a strong position. Farmland continues to gain in value, and a newer, variable method for determining farmland rents has spread, according to the first quarter 2023 issue of the Chicago Fed's AgLetter. In this Q&A David Oppedahl, AgLetter author and policy advisor at the Chicago Fed, talks about why rising interest rates haven't... Read More

By David Oppedahl, Chad Jorgensen       April 17, 2023

Though the weather changes frequently in the middle part of the U.S., adverse climate-related changes represent a serious risk to Midwest agriculture and could impair the region’s financial health, especially given the farm sector’s importance in this region. Furthermore, the health of agriculture remains vital to the banking system of the region, with nearly 30% of U.S. agricultural banks1 headq... Read More

By Elizabeth Kepner, Thomas Walstrum       February 22, 2023

The Seventh Federal Reserve District1 and the entire nation both experienced slower growth in 2022 than in 2021, which was a year of very strong growth following the very deep pandemic recession. Growth in both the Seventh District and the country as a whole was closer to their respective long-run trends. A tight labor market and supply chain issues were two of the big economic stories of 20... Read More

By Chicago Fed Staff Writer       February 9, 2023

Seventh District agriculture is in a strong position, with farmland values at record levels, according to the fourth quarter 2022 issue of the Chicago Fed AgLetter. David Oppedahl, AgLetter author and policy advisor at the Chicago Fed, shares his thoughts on farmland values, crop revenues, and other topics covered in the latest issue. He also discusses the accessibility of farmland to beginnin... Read More

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