The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank today reported that its Midwest Manufacturing Index rose from 89 in December 2011 to 90.1 in January of 2012. The index posted a low of 68.3 in June of 2009 and has been rising steadily, if slowly since then.
The bank also revised the December figure upwards, from a gain of 1.7% to 2.2%. The gain in auto manufacturing in January totaled 4.1%, higher than the 3.3% gain posted in December. In the 12 months to January 2012, automobile manufacturing was up 17.5%.
The Midwest remains America’s industrial heartland, and manufacturing in the region has outperformed all other sections of the country over the past 12 months. For the preceding 12 months, Midwest manufacturing has grown by 9.1%, nearly double the national average of 4.7%.