Three stories making news across the Midwest today:
1. Manufacturing index rises. Economic conditions across the Midwest improved in July, according to a report issued Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The Fed’s manufacturing index rose 0.5 percent in the month to a seasonally adjusted level of 84.8. Overall, regional output rose 6.2 percent year-over-year. The auto industry, buoyed by continued recovery from the Japanese catastrophes, showed growth of 1.4 percent following a 0.6 percent decrease in June.
2. Survey analyzes Michigan unions. Fifty-six percent of Michigan’s local government leaders say that unions have had a negative impact on their municipalities’ fiscal health. Meanwhile, 60 percent of respondents said their jurisdiction had either “good” or “excellent” relationships with union officials in the past 12 months. The findings come from a survey conducted by the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan, which received responses from 360 of approximately 520 local governments, according to our partner station Michigan Radio.
3. Ohio ponders turnpike lease. Gov. John Kasich and his administration are still exploring the possibility of privatizing the Ohio Turnpike in a deal that could net the Buckeye State approximately $2.5 billion dollars, according to our partner station Ideastream. The prospect of a deal comes at a time when the Ohio Department of Transportation projects a $1.5 billion deficit between now and 2017.