Monday, September 24, 2018

Chicago Fed "Index Points to Steady Economic Growth in August"

by Bill McBride on 9/24/2018 08:37:00 AM

From the Chicago Fed: Index Points to Steady Economic Growth in August

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was unchanged at +0.18 in August. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from July, and two of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in August. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, rose to +0.24 in August from +0.02 in July.
emphasis added
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 economic activity was slightly above the historical trend in August (using the three-month average).

According to the Chicago Fed:
The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories.
...
A zero value for the monthly index has been associated with the national economy expanding at its historical trend (average) rate of growth; negative values with below-average growth (in standard deviation units); and positive values with above-average growth.