Feds Say Cleveland's Fortunes Modestly Brighter
Manufacturers say oil and gas exploration, transportation, and industrial equipment needs have helped business. Steel makers in Cleveland especially enjoyed an uptick in shipping volume.
Most manufacturers reported output was better than a year ago at this time. Business construction for small and medium sized contractors has improved in recent weeks, and hiring for manufacturers also grew.
Recruitment of highly-skilled workers remains a problem for both manufacturers and energy producers. And some were concerned about how unrest in Europe could affect their business.
Consumer spending was largely mixed for Cleveland and districts in the upper Midwest and East Coast. Generally sales were decent, except a warm, dry winter cut into sales of seasonal winter items.
Cleveland also reported some growth in home sales, though little movement in house prices. Cleveland also noted more requests for commercial real estate lending, with delinquent loans overall holding steady or dropping.
Out of the 12 districts monitored by the Federal Reserve, Atlanta and Philadelphia enjoyed the fastest rates of economic growth.
The Fed ranks Cleveland's growth as "moderate".