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Economy in Brief

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Suggests A Little Less Growth
by Tom Moeller  July 21, 2014

The Chicago Federal Reserve reported that its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for June slipped to 0.12 versus 0.16 in May, revised from 0.21. The three-month moving average fell to 0.13, the weakest reading since March. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the Chicago Fed Index and the q/q change in real GDP.

Movement amongst the four component series was mixed. The Employment, Unemployment & Hours figure recovered most of the prior month's decline. The Personal Consumption & Housing series improved slightly but the Sales, Orders & Inventories component was unchanged. The Production & Income reading declined, giving back most of its earlier rise. The Chicago Fed reported that during June, 44 of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the overall index while 41 made negative contributions.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity. It is constructed to have an average value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Since economic activity tends toward trend growth rate over time, a positive index reading corresponds to growth above trend and a negative index reading corresponds to growth below trend.

The Chicago Federal Reserve figures are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank Jun May Apr  Jun'13 2013 2012 2011
CFNAI 0.12 0.16 0.11 -0.11 -0.01 -0.05 -0.07
 3-Month Moving Average 0.13 0.28 0.39 -0.15 -- -- --
  Personal Consumption & Housing -0.14 -0.16 -0.14 -0.19 -0.15 -0.21 -0.29
  Employment, Unemployment & Hours 0.22 0.14 0.28 0.09 0.09 0.10 0.13
  Production & Income 0.00 0.14 -0.06 0.03 0.02 0.04 0.05
  Sales, Orders & Inventories 0.04 0.04 0.03 -0.04 0.03 -0.01 0.03
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