Monday, May 21, 2012

Chicago Fed: Economic growth near historical trend in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/21/2012 08:44:00 AM

The Chicago Fed released the national activity index (a composite index of other indicators): Index shows economic activity increased in April

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.11 in April from –0.44 in March. ...

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, ticked down to –0.06 in April from +0.02 in March, falling below zero for the first time since November 2011. April’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was near its historical trend. The economic growth 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.

This suggests growth was near trend in April.

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.