Region & Communities
Regional Economy

Spanning five Midwestern states, the economy of the Seventh Federal Reserve District is vibrant and varied, featuring significant agricultural production, automotive and other manufacturing, and financial and insurance industries. Understanding the region's economic strengths and challenges is vital to our work.

Seventh Federal Reserve District

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Served by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Seventh Federal Reserve District comprises Iowa and most of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Its largest metropolitan areas are Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Grand Rapids. More than 35 million people lived in the District as of 2021.

View an economic and demographic profile of the Seventh Federal Reserve District.

Regional Data

Beige Book

Officially known as the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, the Beige Book is a report published eight times per year on scheduled days. The 12 Federal Reserve Banks gather anecdotal information on current economic conditions in their respective Districts from business contacts, economists, market experts, community organizations, and other sources. The Beige Book contains a summary of the information written by each District's Reserve Bank, as well as an overall summary of the District-level reports prepared by one of the Reserve Banks on a rotating basis.

Chicago Fed Survey of Economic Conditions (CFSEC)

The Chicago Fed Survey of Economic Conditions (CFSEC) is a survey of organizations located in the Seventh Federal Reserve Dis-trict. The Chicago Fed produces diffusion indexes based on the quantitative questions in the survey that are released at 10:00 a.m. ET on scheduled days, normally toward the end of each calendar month.

Regional Economy Publications

The Chicago Fed publishes research into the Seventh District and discussion and analysis of topics important to the District. Publication channels include articles on Chicago Fed Insights and economic research through the Chicago Fed Letter, AgLetter, Economic Perspectives, and working paper series.

Most Recent Articles



30th Automotive Insights Symposium

The 30th Annual Automotive Insights Symposium was held January 17-18, 2024, and took place at the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Midwest Agriculture Conference

Farmland ownership is an underpinning of Midwest agriculture. In recent years, there have been sizable increases in the value of agricultural land as bidding for farms and their acres has been strong. With the pandemic spurring renewed interest, investment groups have been purchasing farmland as a way to diversify their portfolios. Moreover, farmers often rent ground from landowners who do not have roots in agriculture and live hours away from their farmland. What are the implications of these intersecting factors for midwestern farming? The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, held an event that examined Midwest farmland ownership and trends related to investing in agricultural ground.

Regionally Focused Research

Subjects studied by the Chicago Fed in its region include agriculture, the automotive industry, and community development, as well as other topics related to economic outcomes, public finance and urban, suburban, and rural life and business.

Agricultural Sector

The Chicago Fed's Seventh District is one of America's most productive farmland regions. Dedicated research staff, through the quarterly AgLetter, the Bank's annual Midwest Agriculture Conference, and other projects, help us to understand the agriculture industry and to share that knowledge. The AgLetter, which analyzes agricultural land trends and financial conditions based on a survey of District bankers, has published regularly since the 1940s.

Automotive Industry

Through original research, contacts with industry stakeholders, its annual Automotive Insights Symposium, and other events the Chicago Fed's dedicated research staff seeks to understand the auto industry, a major contributor to the Seventh District economy. Looking at the economic impact of everything from technological advancements to labor-management relations, we share that knowledge here and across Bank communications channels.

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