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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chicago Fed: Economic activity index declined in November

by Calculated Risk on 12/22/2011 02:10:00 PM

Catching up: Earlier today, the BEA released the third estimate for Q3 GDP showing real GDP growth of 1.8% in Q3, revised down from 2.0%. A large portion of the revision was from personal consumption expenditures.

The Chicago Fed release the national activity index (a composite index of other indicators): Index shows economic activity decreased in November

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to –0.37 in November from –0.11 in October. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from October, and only the employment, unemployment, and hours category was positive in November.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, remained level, at –0.24, from October to November. November’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was below its historical trend. Likewise, the economic slack reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued 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.

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.