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12.03.2015

Index Shows Midwest Economic Growth Still Slightly Below Average in October

On December 2, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released October 2015 figures for its Midwest Economy Index (MEI). The MEI is a weighted average of 129 indicators designed to measure non-farm business activity in the Midwest (IL, IN, MI, WI, IA).

The overall MEI moved up to -0.14 in October from -0.17 in September. The relative MEI increased to -0.23 in October from -0.34 in September. A negative MEI and a negative relative MEI index value indicate that the Midwest economy grew at a slower rate in October than would typically be suggested by its historic growth rate and at a rate less than the growth rate of the national economy, respectively.

Michigan is the only state that made a positive overall contribution to the MEI, primarily due to its contribution of +0.06 in manufacturing. Negative contributions in construction from Illinois (-0.03), Indiana (-0.02), Michigan (-0.04), and Wisconsin (-0.02) had the greatest impact on the overall MEI’s negative value. All states made positive contributions in consumer spending, where both Illinois and Indiana led with contributions of +0.03.

The following chart illustrates contributions to the MEI by sector for Illinois and the Midwest as a whole.

MEI Sector 120315

The following chart illustrates five-year trend lines for the MEI and Relative MEI indexes. 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.

MEI 120315

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Please refer to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank press release for more information.

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives. For a summary of these and other economic indicators, refer to WBC’s monthly Chicago By The Numbers

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