Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicago Fed: Economic activity rebounded in July

by Calculated Risk on 8/23/2010 08:30:00 AM

Note: This is a composite index based on a number of economic releases.

From the Chicago Fed: Index shows economic activity rebounded in July

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index returned to its historical average of zero in July, up from –0.70 in June. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index improved from June, but only the production and income category made a positive contribution to the index in July.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged lower to –0.17 in July from –0.12 in June. July’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat below its historical trend. With regard to inflation, the amount of economic slack reflected in the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
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:
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.
This composite index increased in July because of the boost in industrial production. That was probably mostly auto related and recent surveys (like from the Philly Fed) have indicated slowing or even contraction for production in August.