Get more information and view the full series of chart decks here.
Access the related District Data Brief, A Speeding Rate Starts to Slow: COVID-19 Mortality Rates by State, here.
Summary of Economic Activity
The Fourth District's economy deteriorated further in the current reporting period after it contracted sharply in the previous period. Firms across a broad range of sectors reporting declines in customer demand. The shuttering of physical stores and reduced travel because of the coronavirus pandemic kept sales weak for retailers and hospitality establishments. Reduced foot traffic also hamstrung auto and home sales. Manufacturing orders declined, and producers slashed capital investments, although a number of contacts believe their current backlogs will tide them over until demand improves. The slower pace of construction activity, reduced manufacturing production, and weak consumer spending resulted in low cargo volumes. Relatively strong areas of economic activity included grocery sales and business lending. Firms responded to weak customer demand by reducing staff levels and in some case by cutting wages. Inflation pressures eased because of weak demand and lower commodity prices. A sizeable share of firms believed the worst declines in demand have passed. However, few expect a strong recovery given the uncertainty of the coronavirus's path.
Read about economic conditions in the Fourth District’s major metropolitan areas.
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
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
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
What’s the financial impact of closed economies and orders to shelter in place? Our economist examines state and local income taxes and sales taxes to find out. Read More
In most US states, mortality rates grew more slowly between April 5, 2020 and April 12, 2020 than they did in prior weeks. However, “slower” does not mean “slow”–during that week, mortality rates doubled or more in 37 states. Read More
New! Download the latest COVID-19 Mortality Rates chart deck here.
The coronavirus outbreak has landed hard on economic activity in the Fourth Federal Reserve District. Based on the survey responses of more than 450 business contacts, this report summarizes the main findings related to the economic impact of COVID-19 in the Fourth District so far. Read More
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.
- Early benchmark data
- Early benchmark data geography reference
- DataBasics - Early Benchmarking (Dallas Fed)
Last updated: January 22, 2020
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.
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
- Guhan Venkatu Group Vice President
- Richard Kaglic Vice President and Senior Regional Officer
- Mekael Teshome Vice President and Senior Regional Officer
- Joel Elvery Policy Economist
- Rubén Hernández-Murillo Policy Economist
- Stephan D. Whitaker Policy Economist
- Julianne Dunn Economic Analyst
- Tristan Young Research Analyst