Monday, February 24, 2020

"Chicago Fed National Activity Index Points to an Uptick in Economic Growth in January"

by Calculated Risk on 2/24/2020 09:13:00 AM

From the Chicago Fed: Chicago Fed National Activity Index Points to an Uptick in Economic Growth in January

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to –0.25 in January from –0.51 in December. All four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from December, but only one of the four categories made a positive contribution to the index in January. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved up to –0.09 in January from –0.23 in December.
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 below the historical trend in January (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.
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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.