Midwest Auto, Machinery Production Slip In September

Midwest manufacturing activity slowed last month, led by a decline in auto and machinery production.

Midwest manufacturing activity slowed last month, led by a decline in auto and machinery production.

The Chicago Federal Reserve’s Midwest Manufacturing Index fell 1.1 percent in September, and revised data show the index fell 0.4 percent in August.

Regional output in September was 4.5 percent higher than a year earlier, but lower than the national output’s 6.2 percent increase. All four of the regional sectors decreased in September; auto output was down 2.2 percent, the Midwest machinery sector decreased its production by 1.2 percent, output in the regional steel sector dropped by 0.9 percent, and the regional resource was down 0.1 percent.

Midwest auto sector production dropped 2.2 percent in September after decreasing 0.7 percent in August. The nation’s auto output was down 1.1 percent in September. Compared with a year earlier, Midwest automotive output was up 1.3 percent, while the national auto output was up 5.3 percent.

Midwest machinery sector output fell 1.2 percent in September after falling 0.1 percent in August. The nation’s machinery output, meanwhile, rose 0.4 percent in September. Regional machinery output in September was 8.3 percent above year-earlier levels, while national machinery output was up 14.5 percent.

The region’s steel sector output was down 0.9 percent in September, after falling 1.0 percent in August, which compares with a 0.2 decline in September nationally. Regional steel output was 5.0 percent above its September 2005 level, lower than the 6.0 percent increase in the nation’s steel output.

The Midwest resource sector’s output decreased 0.1 percent last month after being unchanged
in August. The nation’s resource sector’s output was down 0.4 percent.

Four of the subsectors of the resource sector - paper production, wood, regional, chemical, and nonmetallic mineral — decreased in September, while food production increased.

Compared with a year ago, regional resource output was up 5.5 percent in September, and national resource output was up 4.5 percent.

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