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Economy in Brief

Chicago Fed Nat'l Activity Index Suggests a Soft Spot
by Tom Moeller April 21, 2005

The National Activity Index (CFNAI) compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago fell to 0.11 in March, the lowest level since last September.A zero value of the CFNAI indicates that the economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth.

The decline lowered the three-month moving average of the CFNAI to 0.17, its lowest since November.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of economic activity. The indicators reflect activity in the following categories: production and income, the labor market, personal consumption and housing, manufacturing and trade sales, and inventories & orders.

During the last twenty years there has been a 74% correlation between the level of the CFNAI and q/q growth in real GDP.

The latest CFNAI report is available here.

The latest Beige Book covering regional economic activity from the Federal Reserve Board is available here.

Chicago Fed Mar Feb Mar '04 2004 2003 2002
CFNAI 0.11 0.22 0.67 0.39 -0.11 -0.40
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