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Chicago Fed President Moskow Urges Planning To Spur Regional Growth

After years of upheaval from technological change and globalization, Chicago could become
the portal for a revived Midwest U.S. economy if it pursues the right policies, Chicago Federal Reserve President Michael Moskow said on Tuesday.

Moskow, a voting member of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee in 2007, did not discuss the national economy or interest rate outlook in prepared remarks for a Chicago
Metropolicy Agency for Planning conference.

"Failure to plan transportation and land use regionwide can impede a critical asset of large cities, the close matching of specialized and skilled workers with the unique labor demands
of diverse big-city employers," he said. "The overall result is relatively slower growth in the regional economy."

The right decisions over land use and transportation infrastructure are critical to maximizing the region's economic potential, Moskow said.

Moskow plans to retire from his position at the Fed on Aug. 21 after more than 12 years on the job. Until then, he will remain a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee.

Moskow's remarks comes at a time when economic activity in the Chicago region lags that of other parts of the country.

For several months, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank's Midwest Manufacturing Index has shown the region's output lagging the overall growth in U.S. activity. Also, the National Association of Purchasing Management's index of manufacturing activity in Chicago last week showed a contraction for the first time since April 2003.