Recent Updates

  • Azerbaijan: IP (Sep)
  • Palestine: WPI (Q3-Prelim)
  • Latvia: Population (Oct)
  • Romania: Holdings of Govt Securities (Aug)
  • Spain: Trade in Constant Prices, International Trade Summary (Aug)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Declines in August
by Tom Moeller  September 21, 2020

• Index reverses three months of improvement.

• Component weakening is widespread.

Economic growth is settling onto a moderate growth track after initially recovering from the recession. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's National Activity Index declined to 0.79 during August from 2.54 in July, revised from 1.18.

The three-month moving average, which smoothes out the m/m volatility in the index, fell to 3.05 from 4.23. During the last 20 years, there has been a 78% correlation between the Chicago Fed Index and quarterly growth in real GDP.

Two of four of the contributing indicators turned negative last month, including Personal Consumption & Housing as well as the Sales, Orders & Inventories series. The Production & Income component and Employment, Unemployment & Hours showed lessened growth. The diffusion index, which measures the breadth of movement in the components, decreased to 0.62 from 0.73 as 53 out of the 85 components improved.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 monthly 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.

These figures are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Aug Jul Jun Aug '19 2019 2018 2017
Chicago Fed National Activity Index (+ = Growth Above Trend) 0.79 2.54 5.84 0.16 -0.14 0.12 0.13
   Production & Income 0.23 1.26 2.27 0.12 -0.10 0.07 0.06
   Employment, Unemployment & Hours 0.63 0.65 1.93 0.01 0.01 0.08 0.06
   Personal Consumption & Housing -0.04 0.09 0.44 0.01 -0.02 -0.05 -0.03
   Sales, Orders & Inventories -0.04 0.53 1.19 0.03 -0.02 0.01 0.04
CFNAI 3-Month Moving Average 3.05 4.23 -2.55 0.03 -- -- --
CFNAI Diffusion Index 0.62 0.73 0.16 0.07 -0.10 0.16 0.13
close
large image