Monday, October 26, 2009

Chicago Fed Index: Near Pre-Recession Levels

by Bill McBride on 10/26/2009 08:50:00 AM

From the Chicago Fed: Index shows economic activity approaching pre-recessionary levels

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index was –0.81 in September, down from –0.65 in August. Three of the four broad categories of indicators made negative contributions to the index in September, but the production and income category made a positive contribution for the third consecutive month.
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Click on table for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967. According to the Chicago Fed:

"At –0.63 in September (up from –0.96 in the previous month), the index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, suggests that growth in national economic activity was below its historical trend. However, the CFNAI-MA3 in September improved to a level greater than –0.7 for the first time since the early months of this recession. For the four previous recessions, the first month when the CFNAI-MA3 was above –0.7 coincided closely with the end of each recession as eventually determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research."

This index suggests that the official recession might be over. However the index is still fairly weak.

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