Midwest manufacturing activity fell in October, dragged down by a soft performance within the steel and auto sectors.
The Chicago Fed's Midwest Manufacturing Index dropped 0.4 percent in October, to a seasonally adjusted level of 106.1 (2002=100). Revised data show the index fell 1.0 percent in September, to 106.5.
Regional output in October was 2.4 percent higher than a year earlier, lower than the national output’s 4.4 percent increase. Three of the four of the regional sectors decreased in October, with machinery output the lone advancer.
Midwest auto sector production dropped 1.4 percent in October after decreasing 2.1 percent in September. The nation’s auto output was down 1.7 percent in October. Compared with a year earlier, Midwest automotive output was down 3.1 percent, while the national auto output was down 0.6 percent.
The region’s steel sector output fell 0.6 percent in October, after falling 1.0 percent in September. The nation’s steel output was also down 0.6 percent in October. Regional steel output was 3.2 percent above its October 2005 level, slightly lower than the 3.3 percent increase in the nation’s steel output.
The Midwest resource sector’s output was off by 0.4 percent in October after rising 0.2 percent in September. The nation’s resource sector’s output was down 0.2 percent in October. Four of the subsectors of the resource sector — paper production, wood, chemical, and food production — decreased in October, while the nonmetallic mineral subsector increased.
Midwest machinery sector output rose 0.3 percent in October after dropping 1.1 percent in September. The nation’s machinery output rose 1.2 percent in October. Regional machinery output in October was 6.7 percent above year-earlier levels, while national machinery output was up 14.7 percent.
The CFMMI is a monthly estimate by major industry of manufacturing output in lllinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It is a composite index of 15 manufacturing industries that uses hours worked data to measure monthly changes in regional activity.