Fed: Midwest economic growth held steady in early ’07

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Much of the Midwest, including the northern two-thirds of Indiana, expanded modestly in January and early February, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s Beige Book report on the economy.

The pace of economic expansion in the Chicago Fed district was similar to activity in late 2006, with hiring as well as consumer and business spending posting increases.

However, home building and real estate activity slowed, and the growth in nonresidential construction weakened.

Manufacturing firmed after a sluggish stretch. And although household lending softened, commercial lending remained solid.

The Chicago region includes Iowa and most of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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