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Economy in Brief

Chicago Fed Nat'l Activity Index Suggests Above Trend Growth
by Tom Moeller August 19, 2005

The National Activity Index (CFNAI) compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has improved since the low this past March and suggests that US economic growth has strengthened. Despite a dip in July to 0.16 from 0.40 in June, the three-month moving average of the CFNAI improved to 0.23 versus the low near zero.

A zero value of the CFNAI indicates that the economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth.

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.

Chicago Fed July June July '04 2004 2003 2002
CFNAI 0.16 0.40 0.61 0.39 -0.11 -0.41
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