The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI) rose to a record level in March increasing 0.7 percent from February. By comparison, the Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index for manufacturing increased by a somewhat faster 0.9 percent over the same period. Both the regional steel and resource sectors grew at faster rates than the nation, while the auto and machinery sectors lagged the national performance. For the second consecutive month, all sectors in the CFMMI posted monthly gains, with every sector at least 5.0 percent above year ago levels. The last time all four sectors posted positive growth two months in a row was five years ago.
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