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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) for July 2018

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for July 2018:

Predicted: +0.38
Actual (CFNAI): +0.13

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of growth in national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and income;
  • Employment, unemployment, and hours;
  • Personal consumption and housing; and
  • Sales, orders, and inventories.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the yellow-highlighted figure is what was reported.

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  • Previous Month (revised): +0.48
  • 3-Month Moving Average (CFNAI-MA3): +0.05
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Chicago Fed National Activity Index with Business Cycles - July 2018 Update
Chicago Fed National Activity Index with Business Cycles - July 2018 Update

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From Today's Report

"...Index points to a moderation in economic growth in July

Led by slower growth in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) declined to +0.13 in July from +0.48 in June. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from June, but three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in July. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved down to +0.05 in July from +0.20 in June..."
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Understanding The CFNAI:

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.

Periods of economic expansion have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index above -0.35. Conversely, periods of economic contraction have historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 below -0.70 and the CFNAI Diffusion Index below -0.35.

An increasing likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +0.70 more than two years into an economic expansion. Similarly, a substantial likelihood of a period of sustained increasing inflation has historically been associated with values of the CFNAI-MA3 above +1.00 more than two years into an economic expansion.

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