Midwest Manufacturing Sector Fails to Rebound from October Dip
Midwest Manufacturing activity was flat in November following a 0.3 percent decline in October, according to the Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI). Both the steel and auto sectors in the region remained depressed in November, suggesting that the effects of the General Motors strike lingered on. October’s decline has been largely attributed to the GM strike, which closed both auto assembly and parts plants around the Midwest and may have also disrupted steel output. However, the biggest pocket of weakness during November occurred in the machinery sector, which was down 1 percent from the previous month. Nonelectrical machinery, such as machine tools, declined more than 2 percent and electrical equipment remaining virtually unchanged. Only the resource sector advanced, led by food processing and petroleum products.