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 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 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 Katherine Bennett, Thomas Walstrum       October 13, 2022

Business cycles are periodic fluctuations in economic activity around its long-term historical trend. Over the past 70 years, the U.S. economy has gone through several business cycles, with each one involving a recession phase and expansion phase.1 No business cycle is exactly the same in terms of what led to the recession, which sectors of the economy were most adversely affected, and how the e... Read More

By Katherine Bennett, David Oppedahl       September 7, 2022

On September 28–29, 2022, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research will cohost a conference called Creating Conversations on the Challenges and Opportunities Facing Rural Economic Development in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ahead of this event, we provide a primer on how some governmental institutions define rural and related terminology to help establi... Read More

By Martin Lavelle, Elizabeth Kepner       July 7, 2022

In this blog post, our primary aim is to examine whether and how moving patterns between states, metropolitan areas, and other locations across the U.S. have changed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Using migration data from United Van Lines,1 we compare migration patterns in 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic started within the U.S., with those in 2020 and 2... Read More

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