Hints of factory-driven slowdown in key 2020 US election states

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A decline in economic activity in the U.S. Midwest, apparent in a little-noticed report on Friday from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, adds to ...

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON: A decline in economic activity in the U.S. Midwest, apparent in a little-noticed report on Friday from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, adds to evidence of slowing growth in factory-heavy corners of the country key to next year's U.S. presidential election.

The decline, the longest stretch in three years, was driven by a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, said Chicago Fed economist Thomas Walstrum.A manufacturing survey by the Philadelaphia Fed released earlier this month, covering the key swing state of Pennsylvania, meanwhile, showed a possible turn in job growth, an area of strength for the U.S. economy nationally.

In the Midwest, the slowdown caught by the Chicago Fed's index does not mean a recession is underway, Walstrum said, but “it’s teasing us.”

 

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