CORRECTION – CHICAGO – RPT-Chicago Fed Midwest factory activity lower in March

by Ros Krasny
Editing by Dan Grebler

(Reuters) The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank said on Monday its Midwest manufacturing index was lower in March, hurt by a slump in auto output.

The index fell 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted 107.6 from an upwardly revised 108.4 in February. The February reading was originally reported at 101.0.

Pretty good upward revision.

Compared with a year earlier, Midwest output was up 0.6 percent, trailing the 1.4 percent national increase.

Midwest auto sector production slumped by 5.3 percent in March after falling 1.5 percent in February. Compared with a year earlier, the region’s automotive output was down 7.6 percent.

Other sectors did not duplicate the marked weakness in autos.

Regional steel output fell by a small 0.2 percent after rising by 0.4 percent in February.

Machinery sector output rose by 0.6 percent in March after falling 0.3 percent in February, while resource sector output was up 1.5 percent on the month.

All five segments of the resource sector — food, paper, minerals, chemical and wood production — rose in March.

Compared with a year earlier, the region’s resource output was up 3.0 percent, above the 1.3 percent national increase.

The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index is a monthly estimate of manufacturing output in the region by major industries. The survey covers the five states that make up the seventh Federal Reserve district: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Following is a breakdown of the index components and percentage changes compared with previous months:

Mar Feb Mar 08/07
CFMMI -0.7 -0.8 0.6
Auto -5.3 -1.5 -7.6
Steel -0.2 0.4 1.8
Machinery +0.6 -0.3 2.9
Resources +1.5 -0.8 3.0

Index (2002=100)

Mar Feb
CFMMI 107.6 108.4
Auto 79.6 84.1
Steel 110.8 111.0
Machinery 131.4 130.6
Resources 115.8 114.1

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