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Regional Analysis

Beige Book

Summary of Economic Activity

The economic recovery gained strength in recent weeks, and contacts across an array of industries reported healthy gains in customer demand. Contacts often pointed to progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the easing of government-mandated restrictions, and the release of pent-up demand as key drivers of the recent improvement in customer demand. For these same reasons, firms were decidedly upbeat that demand will continue to improve in the near term. That said, many contacts commented that supply chain bottlenecks were constraining growth by causing extended lead times, depleted inventories, and escalating materials and transportation costs. Hiring activity was reportedly modest despite the improvement in customer demand, and many firms indicated they were operating with fewer staff members than they would like because of a dearth of job applicants. Consequently, a greater share of firms boosted wages, particularly for hourly workers on the lower end of the pay scale. Price hikes became more widespread as firms attempted to keep up with rising costs for materials and labor.

Metro Mix

Read about economic conditions in the Fourth District’s major metropolitan areas.

Columbus Metro Mix (November 2019) | PDF

The Columbus metro area continues to be one of the region’s strongest performers, with a low unemployment rate that continues to fall even as the labor force expands, steady employment growth, appreciating home prices, and low consumer debt and credit card delinquency levels. Read more

Toledo Metro Mix (November 2019) | PDF

Economic conditions in the Toledo metro area continue to improve. The unemployment rate has fallen, and employment levels are holding relatively steady. The housing market is a particularly bright spot, with rising residential building permit numbers, growing home prices, and median home values that exceed their prerecession peak. Read more

Advisory Councils

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland maintains a number of advisory councils, which allow us to stay informed about how the economic environment is evolving across our District.

Learn more about our advisory councils here

District Data Briefs

Migrants from High-Cost, Large Metro Areas during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Their Destinations, and How Many Could Follow

Stephan D. Whitaker

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced tens of millions of people to work remotely, some chose to relocate out of high-cost, large metro areas. Did people move to cheaper metros or give up in city living altogether? How many will follow in their footsteps, and what could their relocating mean for the places they choose? Read More

COVID-19 and Supply Chains: A Year of Evolving Disruption

Julianne Dunn

From product shortages to capacity constraints in the freight sector, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted supply chains continuously if inconsistently. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the global economy, will supply chain disruptions continue, too? Read More

Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause an Urban Exodus?

Stephan D. Whitaker

In 2020, several media stories reported that residents were leaving urban neighborhood because they feared contracting COVID-19. However, people’s taking flight from urban areas is only part of the reason dense neighborhoods were left with fewer residents. Read More

Regional Data

Early Benchmark Employment Estimates for Fourth District States and Metro Areas

Each year in March, the Labor Department releases revised local employment estimates, by using a nearly complete count of employment from an administrative dataset. Since these administrative data are available quarterly with an approximately six-month lag, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland compute an early-benchmark employment estimate for regions in the Fourth District. These estimates are intended to approximate the annual March revisions prior to their official release.

Last updated: December 18, 2020

Industrial Heartland

The industrial heartland is a geographic and economic region of the United States that comprises those parts of the Midwest and surrounding areas that have relied on manufacturing for a significant share of their economic well-being for most of the last century. Read more

Rust and Renewal Reports

Read about longer term changes to the District's economy in our Rust and Renewal reports, and access updates to the associated data.

Cleveland Metro Area

In 1969, Cleveland was within the top 10 percent of MSAs for real per capita personal income. See how the MSA has fared in the ensuing decades. Read the Cleveland retrospective

Cincinnati Metro Area

Much like the industrial heartland, the Cincinnati MSA was harder hit in terms of job losses by the national recessions in the early 1980s than by the Great Recession. Read the Cincinnati retrospective

Pittsburgh Metro Area

While the Pittsburgh MSA suffered greatly during and after the twin recessions of the early 1980s, its experience during and after the Great Recession was altogether different. Read how the experiences differed in the Pittsburgh retrospective

Regional Analysis Team