The Chicago Fed national activity index for April narrowed to negative 2.06 from a revised negative 3.36 reading in March, originally reported as negative 2.96.

Meanwhile, the three-month moving average — CFNAI-MA3 — improved to negative 2.65 in April, from March’s revised negative 3.29 reading, initially reported as negative 3.27, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported yesterday.

In April 2008, the index was negative 1.06 and the CFNAI-MA3 was negative 1.15.

The negative reading for the CFNAI-MA3 indicates national economic growth was well below its historical trend and suggests little inflationary pressure from economic activity in the coming year.

The production and income category of indicators contributed negative 0.35 to the index, compared to a contribution of negative 1.09 the previous month, and employment-related indicators contributed negative 0.95 after a negative 1.44 reading in March, the Fed said.

Consumption and housing-related data contributed negative 0.60 in the month, after negative 0.63 the month earlier, and sales, orders, and inventories contributed negative 0.15, after a negative 0.20 in March.

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