Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicago Fed: Economic Growth in January above Average

by Calculated Risk on 2/21/2012 08:30:00 AM

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

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to +0.22 in January from +0.54 in December, but remained positive for the second straight month for the first time in a year. ...

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased from +0.06 in December to +0.14 in January, reaching its highest level since March 2011. January’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was slightly 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 slightly above trend in January - but 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.