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Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index Falls 2.4% In March

The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index fell 2.4% in March, to a seasonally adjusted level of 82.0 (2002 = 100). Revised data show the index decreased 0.4% in February, to 84.0.
The Federal Reserve Board's industrial production index for manufacturing fell 1.7% in March. Regional output in March was down 23.2% from a year earlier - lower than the 14.9% decrease in national output.
The region's steel sector output dropped 5.5% in March after falling 4.3% in February. The nation's steel output was down 3.8% in March. Regional steel output dropped 34.1% from its March 2008 level, and national steel output fell 24.2%.
The Midwest's machinery sector output also declined 5.5% in March after moving down 4.9% in February. The nation's machinery output decreased 2.9% in March. Regional machinery output in March was 24.6% below year-earlier levels, and national machinery output was down 17.5%.
The Midwest resource sector's output moved down 1.5% in March after increasing 0.6% in February. The national resource sector's output was down 1.0% in March. All five subsectors of the resource sector - food, paper, chemical, nonmetallic mineral, and wood production - decreased from February to March. Compared with a year ago, regional resource output was down 12.3% in March, and the national resource output declined 9.7%.
Regional auto sector production rose 0.9% in March after increasing 7.1% in January. The nation's auto output edged down 0.4% in March. The Midwest's automotive output was down 33.8% in March relative to its year-ago value, and the nation's auto output was down 20.5%.

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