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Regional Analysis

Beige Book

Summary of Economic Activity

On balance, the Fourth District economy expanded at a moderate pace in recent weeks, although growth varied by segment. Demand generally remained solid, but the emergence and spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 reportedly constrained sales in some high-contact service-providing industries, especially food services and leisure and hospitality. Moreover, persistent supply chain challenges continued to limit growth for manufacturing firms, construction companies, and some retailers. Despite these supply constraints, general merchandisers and apparel retailers suggested that holiday sales were solid. Looking forward, contacts generally expected demand to continue to grow in coming months, but at a somewhat slower pace than currently as renewed uncertainty about the path of the pandemic tempered their optimism. Supply challenges were expected to persist in coming months, keeping upward pressure on costs and prices. However, most contacts expected meaningful relief from disruptions in 2022, especially in the second half of the year.

Regional Policy Reports

Manufacturing Wage Premiums Have Diverged between Production and Nonproduction Workers

Joel Elvery Julianne Dunn

Manufacturing jobs have long been associated with good wages. While some manufacturing workers still enjoy relatively high wages, the premium for workers on the factory floor has shrunk dramatically. Why? And what does it mean for workforce policy? Read More

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

Does Spending Slide When COVID-19 Surges?

Joel Elvery Mark Oleson

Driven by the delta variant, the latest COVID-19 surge is the largest and most widespread since that of November and December 2020. How do consumer spending and social distancing habits during the delta surge compare to those of last fall’s surge? Read More

How Large Are the American Rescue Plan Fund Distributions to State and Local Governments?

Stephan D. Whitaker Grant Rosenberger

Because of the American Rescue Plan, $350 billion will be distributed to state and local governments to help speed the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Will these allocations be modest, or will they create a once-in-a-generation opportunity? Read More

Strong Demand, Limited Supply, and Rising Prices: The Economics of Pandemic-Era Housing

Julianne Dunn Isabel Brizuela

When the coronavirus pandemic began, many feared the housing market would collapse as it did in the mid-2000s. Instead, the industry has struggled to keep up with an influx of demand for homes, leading to rapidly rising prices. What’s next for residential real estate and construction? 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: October 22, 2021 (last observation: September 2021)

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