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Research, publications and other information focused on the economy within the Seventh Federal Reserve District.

Midwest Economy

Information about the Seventh Federal Reserve District states, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin; economic indicators; articles on Midwest issues; and news about conferences and projects.

Research Vice President Bill Testa and special guest commentators offer unique perspectives on the Midwest economy through this blog including topics such as engergy, regional production and the auto industry.

On November 17, 2015, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will hold a conference to explore labor issues affecting agriculture and the rural Midwest. Registration is now open; early bird special registration fee available until October 14, 2015.

On May 29, 2015, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its annual automotive symposium. Twenty-six industry experts provided a consensus on the economy in 2015 and 2016. Presentations and a press release from the symposium are online.

Our latest Michigan Economy blog discussess community development efforts in Pittsburgh and considers how they may, or may not, apply to development opportunities in Detroit.

The Civic Federation and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago hosted a 2015 forum, Sin Taxes: The Sobering Fiscal Reality. The forum examined why governments implement or raise sin taxes and whether they are a reliable source of revenue. A Chicago Fed Letter summarizing the discussions is now online. 

Led by a slight decrease in service sector growth, the Midwest Economy Index (MEI) moved down to +0.17 in May from +0.28 in April. The relative MEI fell to +0.55 in May from +0.86 in April. May’s value for the relative MEI indicates that Midwest economic growth was somewhat higher than would typically be suggested by the growth rate of the national economy.

The Seventh Federal Reserve District had an annual decrease of 3 percent in “good” farmland values for 2014, marking the first yearly decline since 1986.

The May survey of Michigan Retail Association members showed 40 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 36 percent recorded declines and 24 percent reported no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 47.4, down from 57.6 in April. A year ago May the performance index stood at 47.7.

Looking forward, 64 percent of retailers expect sales during June–August to increase over the same period last year, while 10 percent project a decrease and 26 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 73, down from 74.7 in April. A year ago May the outlook index stood at 79.3. 

Seventh District farmland values in the first quarter of 2014 were 1 percent higher than a year ago. Values for “good” agricultural land in the first quarter of 2014 were 1 percent lower than in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Interested in community and economic development? Follow the latest posts in the Community Devolopment and Policy Studies blog!

Data Reports for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin

 
Latest Indicators — July*  
Unemployment Employment
Growth
GSP     
Growth**
Monthly YoY      YoY
US:
IL:
IN:
IA:
MI:
WI:
5.3%
5.9%
4.9%
3.7%
5.5%
4.6%
0.2%
-0.1%
0.1%
0.2%
0.1%
0.1%
2.1%
0.8%
2.0%
1.5%
2.2%
1.3%
-
2.1%
3.2%
2.0%
2.7%
2.6%

*All data are seasonally adjusted.
**Year-to-date estimates of annual growth in real gross state product (GSP) are through 2015:Q1.
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics/Haver Analytics

Agricultural Issues

David Oppedahl | 2015 | AgLetter | No. 1968 | May
David Oppedahl | 2015 | AgLetter | No. 1967 | February
David Oppedahl | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 335
David Oppedahl | 2014 | AgLetter | No. 1966 | November
David Oppedahl | 2014 | AgLetter | No. 1965 | August
David Oppedahl | 2014 | AgLetter | No. 1964 | May
David Oppedahl | 2014 | AgLetter | No. 1963 | February
David Oppedahl | 2014 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 318b | January
David Oppedahl | 2013 | AgLetter | No. 1962 | November
David Oppedahl | 2013 | AgLetter | No. 1961 | August

Banking, Finance and Credit

Sumit Agarwal,Gene Amromin,Claudine Gartenberg,Anna Paulson,Sriram Villupuram | 2014 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 38 | 2nd
Leslie McGranahan,Tom Nohel | 2014 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 321 | April
Gene Amromin,Ben Chabot | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 316 | November
Robin Newberger,Maude Toussaint-Comeau | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 306a | January
Leslie McGranahan,Anna Paulson | 2011 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 35 | No. 4 | 4th
Scott Brave,Hesna Genay | 2011 | Working Paper | No. 2011-04 | May
Scott Brave,R. Andrew Butters | 2010 | Working Paper | No. 2010-07 | January
Carrie Jankowski,Richard Porter,Tara Rice | 2007 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 31 | 2nd
Erin Davis,Tara Rice | 2007 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 238 | May
Leslie McGranahan | 2006 | Working Paper | No. 2006-18

Economic Cycles

Scott Brave,R. Andrew Butters | 2014 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 38
Rick Mattoon,Leslie McGranahan | 2012 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 299 | June
Scott Brave,Max Lichtenstein | 2012 | Chicago Fed Letter | Vol. 298 | May
| 2010 | Midwest Economy Index | September
| 2010 | Midwest Economy Index | October
Scott Brave,Chenfei Lu | 2010 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 280 | November
Michael A. Kouparitsas,Daisuke J. Nakajima | 2006 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 30 | No. 3 | August
David Allardice ,Robert H. Schnorbus | 1987 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 01 | September

Education and Training

Andrew Goodman-Bacon,Leslie McGranahan | 2008 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 32 | 2nd
Brian Fabes ,Rick Mattoon | 2007 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 242 | September
Rick Mattoon | 2007 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 236a | March
Larry Isaak,Rick Mattoon,Laura Melle | 2006 | Working Paper | No. 2006-08
William Sander | 2006 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 231 | October
Rick Mattoon | 2006 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 229 | August
Rick Mattoon | 2006 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 222b | January
Rick Mattoon | 2006 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 222a | January
Rick Mattoon | 2005 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 218 | September
Rick Mattoon | 2004 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 203 | June

Environmental Energy

Donald A. Hanson,Martin Lavelle ,William Testa | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 314 | September
Thomas H. Klier,Joshua Linn | 2011 | Working Paper | No. 2011-01 | January
Martin Lavelle ,Britton Lombardi | 2009 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 259a | February
Thomas H. Klier,Joshua Linn | 2008 | Working Paper | No. 2008-13 | July
David B. Cashin ,Leslie McGranahan | 2006 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 227 | June
Lynne Kiesling,Rick Mattoon | 2003 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 195 | October
Rick Mattoon | 2002 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 178b | June
Rick Mattoon | 2002 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 178a | June
Rick Mattoon | 2001 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 170 | October

Foreign Trade

William A. Strauss,Jacob Berman | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 333
Robert L. Thompson | 2007 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 236 | March
Thomas H. Klier | 2004 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 200a | March
Jay Liao,William Testa,Alexei Zelenev | 2003 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 196 | November
Thomas H. Klier,William Testa | 2002 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 179b | July
Thomas H. Klier,William Testa | 2002 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 179a | July
Jack L. Hervey | 1999 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 147 | November
Jack L. Hervey,William A. Strauss | 1998 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 22 | No. 4 | December | 4th
Jack L. Hervey | 1998 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 127 | March
Michael A. Kouparitsas | 1997 | Working Paper | No. 1997-20

Health Care

Leslie McGranahan,Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach | 2011 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 284 | March
Sam Kahan | 2008 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 254a | September
Sam Kahan,William Testa | 2008 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 248 | March
Rick Mattoon | 2007 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 238a | May
Erin Davis,Rick Kaglic | 2002 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 175 | March

Industry Analysis

William A. Strauss,Jacob Berman | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 340
William A. Strauss,Jacob Berman | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 333
Thomas H. Klier,Joshua Linn | 2014 | Working Paper | No. 2014-22 | December
Jacob Berman,William A. Strauss | 2014 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 324b | July
Jacob Berman,William A. Strauss | 2014 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 319 | February
William A. Strauss,Norman Wang | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 313a | August
Thomas H. Klier,James Rubenstein | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 310 | May
William A. Strauss,Norman Wang | 2012 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 301 | August
Thomas H. Klier,James Rubenstein | 2012 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 36 | 2nd

Labor

Bhash Mazumder | 2014 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 38
Jason Faberman,Taft Foster | 2013 | Economic Perspectives | Vol. 37 | January
Emily Engel ,Susan Longworth | 2012 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 298a | May
Britton Lombardi,William Testa | 2011 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 289 | August
Martin Lavelle ,Britton Lombardi | 2010 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 273a | April
Martin Lavelle ,Britton Lombardi | 2010 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 270a | January
Daniel Aaronson,Scott Brave | 2009 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 263 | June
Yukako Ono | 2009 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 260 | March
Leslie McGranahan | 2008 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 255 | October

State and Local Policy

Rick Mattoon,Sarah Wetmore | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 339
Rick Mattoon | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 331
Martin Lavelle | 2014 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 329 | December
Jacob Berman,William A. Strauss | 2014 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 319 | February
Rick Mattoon | 2014 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 318a | January
Gene Amromin,Ben Chabot | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 316 | November
Rick Mattoon,Sarah Wetmore | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 312a | July
Rick Mattoon | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 308a | March
Robin Newberger,Maude Toussaint-Comeau | 2013 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 306a | January
Rick Mattoon,Sarah Wetmore | 2012 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 299a | June

Urban and Regional Economics

| 2015 | Midwest Economy Index | June
| 2015 | Midwest Economy Index | April
| 2015 | Midwest Economy Index | March
| 2015 | Midwest Economy Index | February
David Oppedahl | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 335
William A. Strauss,Jacob Berman | 2015 | Chicago Fed Letter | No. 333
| 2014 | Midwest Economy Index | December
| 2014 | Midwest Economy Index | November
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago periodically launches special projects examining certain aspects of the Midwest economy.

Midwest Economy events dating back through 2010 are available below. Many of our earlier events are available on our Past Events page and our conference series pages (links in the sidebar).

2015

Annual Agriculture Conference

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will hold its Annual Agricultural Conference to explore labor issues affecting agriculture and the rural Midwest.
November 17, 2015
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Twenty-Second Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium

This year's topics included the near-term automotive outlook and a discussion of how new technologies will impact the automotive market in the coming years.
May 29, 2015
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Sin Taxes: The Sobering Fiscal Reality

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Board of Directors of the Civic Federation co-hosted a conference to examine why governments implement or raise sin taxes, whether they are a reliable source of revenue and ideas about their future use.
April 2, 2015
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2014

Annual Agriculture Conference

Don't miss your chance to hear The Honorable Jill Long Thompson, Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Farm Credit Administration offer her insight on farm income.
November 17, 2014
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Infrastructure and Economic Growth: Measuring the Impact and Funding Models

This program will examine what is known about the value of infrastructure investments based on recent research and explore funding models that may help to pay for infrastructure during a time of constrained government resources.
November 3, 2014
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Twenty-First Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium

This year's topics included the near-term automotive outlook and a discussion of EY's Automotive C-Suite's survey results.
April 23, 2014
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After Detroit

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Board of Directors of the Civic Federation co-hosted a conference on how municipalities in Illinois can avoid or resolve fiscal stress.
April 23, 2014
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2013

Twentieth Annual Agriculture Conference

The annual agriculture conference will explore the risks faced by agricultural producers and lenders, as well as the risk-management tools available to them.
November 19, 2013
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What’s after Bankruptcy? Lessons in Governance Reform and Financial Planning from Other Cities

In the wake of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, this program will examine how other cities facing fiscal crises regained their footing.
November 7-8, 2013
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Economic Boot Camp

If you teach economics, please join us at this boot camp, co-sponsored with the Michigan Council on Economic Education, where you will learn about personal finance, the Federal Reserve, the European Union and economics.
June 26-27, 2013
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Twentieth Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium

On May 30 and May 31, 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago hosted its Twentieth Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium at its Detroit Branch. The symposium included near-term automotive and outlook and the long-term structure of the industry.
May 30-31, 2013
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New Access to Energy: Midwest and Global Industry Impacts

This conference will focus primarily on shifting markets, development opportunities and economic impacts.
April 8-9, 2013
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Managing Economic Development in Times of Fiscal Uncertainty: Past Crises and Current Strategies

The forum will address economic development in times of fiscal uncertainty.
April 4, 2013
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2012

Workshop on Property Tax Incentives and the Treatment of Tax-Exempt Property

Co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Metropolis Strategies and the Civic Federation, this conferene explored the role of property tax incentives in supporting business growth and the treatment of nonprofit entities in the tax base.
November 30, 2012
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Farmland Leases: Tales, Types and Trends

The annual agriculture conference will examine trends in farmland leasing and analyze various types of leases, within the context of the changes facing agriculture in the Midwest.
November 27, 2012
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Beyond Parking Meters: The Future of Public-Private Partnerships in Illinois

The Civic Federation, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, presented a half-day conference on the subject of public-private partnerships.
March 14, 2012
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Nineteenth Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium

On May 31 and June 1, 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago hosted its Nineteenth Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium at its Detroit Branch. The symposium included near-term automotive and outlook and the long-term structure of the industry.
May 31-June 1, 2012
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Twenty-Sixth Annual Economic Outlook Symposium

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago hosted its twenty-sixth annual Economic Outlook Symposium to focus on the forces shaping the U.S. expansion as it enters 2013.
November 26, 2012
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2011

Twenty-Fifth Annual Economic Outlook Symposium

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago hosted its twenty-fifth annual Economic Outlook Symposium to focus on the forces shaping the U.S. expansion as it enters 2012.
December 2, 2011
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Midwest Economy: Outlook for 2012 and Beyond

The Regional Programs team hosted a conference to discuss the outlook for the Midwest.
December 1, 2011
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Rising Farmland Values: Causes and Cautions

The annual agriculture conference will explore the factors contributing to large increases in agricultural land values and cash rental rates in the Midwest.
November 15, 2011
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Food Safety: Policy Changes, Science-Based Opportunities

This program was designed to provide a forum for meaningful interactions between key executives and scientists, with a view to creating new products and novel, effective solutions to improve food safety.
July 19, 2011
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State Budgets under Stress: Paths to Sustainability

This program looked at the current state of budgets and long-term challenges.
June 24, 2011
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Eighteenth Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium

This year's symposium focuses on the near-term automotive outlook and the long-term structure of the industry.
June 2-3, 2011
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2010

Economic Outlook Symposium

The symposium focused on the forces shaping the U.S. recovery during 2011.
December 3, 2010
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Annual Agriculture Conference

The theme of this year's Agriculture Conference examined the intersections of Midwest agriculture and rural development.
November 9, 2010
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Charting Illinois's Fiscal Future: Dealing with Structural Deficits and the Implications of High Levels of Future Debt

This conference was co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois and was designed to investigate the implications of fiscal insolvency.
June 17–18, 2010
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Seventeenth Annual Automotive Outlook Symposium

This year's symposium focused on the near-term outlook for sales and the long-term landscape of automotive production.
June 3– 4, 2010
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After the Perfect Storm: Competitive Forces Shaping the Auto Industry

This conference focused on the question of which factors will shape the industry's competitiveness going forward.
May 10-11, 2010
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Health Care, the Employer and Insurance

This year’s program analyzed the role of insurance in the health care system.
April 26-27, 2010
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New Perspectives on Health and Health Care Policy

Leading researchers on health care policy discussed new perspectives on important policy topics.
March 22-23, 2010
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