Midwest manufacturing output rises in July

By Michael Oneal
Posted Aug. 26, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.

Midwest manufacturing output increased in July, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, after revised data showed slight slippage in June.

The strongest performance came from the regional auto sector, which boosted output 7.2 percent during the month after a 0.4 percent dip the month before, the Chicago Fed report said. National output in July was 4.4 percent.

Compared to a year ago at this time, Midwest auto production looked even rosier. It soared 27 percent from last July’s level, compared to a 12.5 percent year-over-year gain nationally.

Steel rose 2.2 percent in July after a 0.5 percent increase in June, doubling the national rate of increase. The machinery sector inched up 0.9 percent, also topping national growth slightly during the month.

Output for the Midwest resource sector, which includes industries like food, chemicals, paper, fell by 0.1 percent, adding to a 0.4 percent decline in June, the Fed said. Nationally the sector rose 0.2 percent. Two subsectors held down the Midwest number: food and wood production slipped during the month, while paper, chemicals, and nonmetallic production increased.

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