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Midwest Economy Index (MEI)

The Midwest Economy Index (MEI) is a monthly index designed to measure growth in nonfarm business activity in the Seventh Federal Reserve District. It serves as a regional counterpart to the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI). The MEI is released at 8:30 a.m. ET on scheduled days, normally toward the end of each calendar month.

Latest MEI Release

Midwest Economic Growth Increased in December

The Midwest Economy Index (MEI) was +0.06 in December, up from –0.02 in November.

Background Video

The MEI is a weighted average of 129 state and regional indicators measuring growth in nonfarm business activity from four broad sectors of the Midwest economy: 1) manufacturing, 2) construction and mining, 3) services, and 4) consumer spending. It encompasses the entirety of the five states in the Seventh Federal Reserve District (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin).

The index is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since Midwest economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth in Midwest economic activity above trend, while a negative reading corresponds to growth below trend.

Over long periods, growth in Midwest economic activity has tended to coincide with growth in national economic activity. To highlight periods where differences arise, we construct two separate index values. The MEI captures both national and regional factors driving Midwest growth, and the relative MEI provides a picture of Midwest growth conditions relative to those of the nation.

Background Slides

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413, USA. Tel. (312) 322-5322

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