The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for August decreased to negative 0.31 from positive 0.03 in July, while the three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) fell to negative 0.04 from a neutral reading in July, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday.

In August 2016, the index was negative 0.43, while the CFNAI-MA3 was negative 0.11 in that month.

The CFNAI diffusion index, also a three-month moving average, remained at negative 0.01. A year ago, the diffusion index was negative 0.08.

The production indicators subtracted 0.36 from CFNAI in the month (compared to an addition of 0.03 in the previous month), while employment-related indicators added 0.05 to the index in the month, after a 0.09 contribution in July, the Fed said.

Personal consumption and housing-related data subtracted 0.06 in the month, after subtracting 0.06 the prior month, while sales, orders and inventories added 0.06 in the month after a 0.04 subtraction the month before.

The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity. A zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values are associated with below-trend growth while positive values indicate above-trend growth.

The index was constructed using data available by Sept. 21, with data for 51 of the 85 indicators having been published by then. The Fed said it used estimates for the missing data.

Overall, 35 of the 85 indicators made positive contributions to the index in the month and 50 made negative contributions. While 45 indicators were better than the previous month, 14 of these still made negative contributions to the index. Also, 40 deteriorated from July to August.

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