Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicago Fed: Economic Growth in February "near average"

by Bill McBride on 3/26/2012 08:57:00 AM

The Chicago Fed released the national activity index (a composite index of other indicators): Index shows economic growth near average in February

Led by weaker production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to –0.09 in February from +0.33 in January. ...

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased from +0.22 in January to +0.30 in February—its highest level since May 2010. February’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was above its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967.

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Click on graph for larger image.

This suggests growth near trend in February - still not strong growth.

According to the Chicago Fed:
A zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values indicate below-average growth; and positive values indicate above-average growth.

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