Manufacturing Activity In The Midwest Dipped In May

Chicago Fed says resource output, machinery decline lead to modest pullback.

A falloff in the region's resource output and in the machinery sector in May led to a 0.2% decline in the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank's Midwest Manufacturing Index, the bank said Tuesday.

The index fell to a seasonally adjusted level of 106.0, haveing risen 0.7% in April, to 106.2.

The Federal Reserve Board’s industrial production index for manufacturing fell
0.1% in May. Regional output in May was 4.6% higher than a year earlier, lower than the national output’s 5.4% increase.

Two of the four regional subsectors expanded in May, with output in the regional steel
sector up by 1.1% in May and auto increasing 0.1% during the same time period. The
regional resource output was down 0.4% in May, while the Midwest machinery sector
decreased 1.2%.

The nation’s steel output was unchanged in May, and regional steel output was 6.4% above its May 2005 level compared with a 6.7% increase in the nation. Midwest auto sector production rose 0.1% in May after increasing 0.4% in April. The nation’s auto output was down 0.7% in May. Compared with a year earlier, Midwest automotive output was 4.7% higher in May and national output was up 5.8%.

The Midwest resource sector’s output decreased 0.4% in May after an increase of 0.7% in April. The nation’s resource sector’s output was down 0.2% in May. Decreases in regional chemical and food production in May were offset by increases in paper, wood, and nonmetallic mineral production. Compared with a year ago, regional resource output was up 2.5% in May while national output was up 1.7%.

Midwest machinery sector output decreased 1.2% in May after rising 1.7% in April. The nation’s machinery output rose 0.3% in May. Regional machinery output in May was 7.7% above year-earlier levels while national output was up 13.4%.

The Midwest is defined as the five states comprising the 7th Federal Reserve District: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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