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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Chicago Fed: Economic Activity Improved in March

by Calculated Risk on 5/01/2011 02:16:00 PM

Catching up - this was released last week at the same time as several other releases. Note: This is a composite index based on a number of economic releases.

From the Chicago Fed: Economic Activity Improved in March

Led by gains in production indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to +0.26 in March from +0.16 in February. March marked the fourth consecutive positive reading of the index and the sixth consecutive positive contribution from employment-related indicators. Neither has exhibited such patterns since April 2006.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged down to +0.20 in March from +0.27 in February, but remained positive for the third consecutive month for the first time since May 2010. March’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat above its historical trend. With regard to inflation, the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

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.
Not a robust recovery, but this index suggests the economy was growing somewhat above trend in March.

Weekend:
Summary for Week ending April 29th
Goldman estimates 3.5 million Excess Vacant Housing Units.
Schedule for Week of May 1st