Chicago Fed: Midwest Manufacturing Is Booming
1. Manufacturing output in the Midwest region rose 10.1% from a year earlier in February, almost twice the 4.7% increase in national manufacturing output over the same period (see chart).
2. Regional machinery output in February gained 10.9% from its year-earlier level, compared to a 4.8% increase in machinery output at the national level.
3. Regional steel output improved 13.9% from its February 2010 level, compared to an 9.8% increase in national steel output over that period.
4. The Midwest’s automotive output increased 18.7% in February from its year-ago level, compared to a 12.9% gain in national automotive output.
MP: The manufacturing sector of the economy grew at 4.6% last year, or more than twice the 1.7% growth in real GDP, so it's clear that American manufacturing is at the forefront of the economic recovery as has been frequently reported here and elsewhere. And given the growth in Midwest manufacturing activity over the last year (+10.1%) compared to output at the national level (4.8%) as reported today by the Chicago Fed, I think we can say that it's "Midwest manufacturing" that is at the forefront of the economic recovery. The Rust Belt and its traditional industries like machinery, steel and motor vehicles are coming back.