Midwest Economy Blog
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By Rick Mattoon       April 18, 2017

Broadly speaking, fiscal federalism is a theory of public finance concerned with how to most appropriately and efficiently provide government services (or public goods) through different levels of government. This theory also involves how to set up the fiscal relationships (e.g., conditional versus unconditional transfers) between the different levels of governments to best provide these services... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       March 20, 2017

Here at the Chicago Fed, we closely track one of the most important regional economic indicators, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) payroll employment survey (also known as the Current Employment Statistics, or CES). The survey is important because it provides a good picture of the overall state of an economy and its initial results are released quickly (unlike some other regiona... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       March 1, 2017

A summary of economic conditions in the Seventh District from the latest release of the Beige Book and from other indicators of regional business activity: Overall conditions: Growth in economic activity in the Seventh District picked up to a moderate pace in January and early February, and contacts expected activity to continue rising at a moderate pace over the next six to twelve months. ... Read More

By Thomas Haasl       February 6, 2017

In a recent Chicago Fed Letter, Thom Walstrum examined the fiscal performance of Illinois's state and local governments beginning in the late 1980s. His analysis showed that since at least the late 1980s, Illinois's governments (as a whole) have consistently run a budget deficit. His analysis also revealed that the degree of overspending (or alternatively, undertaxing) by Illinois was gre... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       February 1, 2017

Last week we received the December 2016 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) state payroll employment survey (also known as the Current Employment Statistics, or CES), so it's our first opportunity to look at how well the Seventh Federal Reserve District1 did in 2016. The recent report is not the final word on job growth in 2016 because the data will eventually be benchm... Read More

By Thomas Walstrum       January 25, 2017

A summary of economic conditions in the Seventh District from the latest release of the Beige Book and from other indicators of regional business activity: Overall conditions: Growth in economic activity in the Seventh District continued at a modest pace in late November and December, though contacts expected it to move up to a moderate pace over the next six to twelve months. Employm... Read More

December 2, 2016

First, a different special announcement: The Federal Reserve announced on November 30, 2016, changes that will be incorporated into its Beige Book report starting in 2017. For more information, see the press release. And now, a summary of economic conditions in the Seventh District from the latest release of the Beige Book and from other indicators of regional business ac... Read More

By Rick Mattoon       November 21, 2016

The Great Recession, which lasted from December 2007 through June 2009, had a profound effect on U.S. employment. At its height, U.S. unemployment reached 9.5% and job losses totaled approximately 7.3 million. The current recovery is now entering its eighth year, so it may be a good time to take a look at how many jobs lost during the recession have been recovered as one measure of the na... Read More

By David Oppedahl       November 15, 2016

On November 29, 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will hold a conference to examine the agricultural downturn in the Midwest and discuss future directions for farming, concluding with a panel discussion on the evolution of agricultural lending. (Check the event page for more details on the conference, including the agenda, and to register.) Experts from academia, industry, and pol... Read More

By Rick Mattoon, Thomas Haasl       November 1, 2016

Illinois's fiscal situation will likely require tax and revenue increases. How might we assess a municipality's tax capacity, or ability to “absorb” a larger tax bill? In our previous blog, we reviewed various methods of assessing tax capacity. Now, we use the municipal-gap method to estimate tax capacities for Cook County municipalities. The municipal gap is the difference betwee... Read More

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