Summary of Economic Activity
Economic activity grew solidly, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than in the previous reporting period. Customer demand was solid for firms across a broad range of industries. That said, supply constraints limited many firms’ ability to keep up with growing demand. This challenge was particularly acute for homebuilders, manufacturers, and auto dealers, many of which reported shortages and delays in receiving key items. Staff levels increased modestly, despite reports of strong customer demand. Labor shortages remained intense, and many firms raised wages for new hires and current employees. Reports of rising nonlabor costs and prices were widespread. Firms generally attributed the higher prices to the persistence of supply chain disruptions and worker shortages. Firms were generally upbeat that customer demand will remain strong during the rest of the year, but they were less optimistic that labor shortages and supply chain disruptions would abate enough to alleviate some of the upward pressure on wages and input costs.
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
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
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
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
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: September 21, 2021 (last observation: August 2021)
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 Manager
- Hamza Abdelrahman Research Analyst
- Isabel Brizuela Research Analyst
- Mark Oleson Research Analyst