Monday, August 24, 2015

Chicago Fed: Index shows "Economic growth picked up in July"

by Bill McBride on 8/24/2015 09:55:00 AM

The Chicago Fed released the national activity index (a composite index of other indicators): Index shows economic growth picked up in July

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.34 in July from –0.07 in June. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from June, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in July.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged up to a neutral reading in July from –0.08 in June. July’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was at 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.
emphasis added
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 economic activity was close to the historical trend in July (using the three-month average).

According to the Chicago Fed:
What is the National Activity Index? The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories.

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.