The Chicago Fed national activity index for March improved to negative 0.07 from a revised negative 0.44 reading in February, originally reported as negative 0.64.

Meanwhile, the three-month moving average — or CFNAI-MA3 — improved to negative 0.18 in March from February’s revised negative 0.31 reading, initially reported as negative 0.39, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported yesterday.

In March 2009, the index was negative 3.37, while the CFNAI-MA3 was negative 3.33.

The below-zero reading for the CFNAI-MA3 indicates national economic growth was below its historical trend, and suggests little inflationary pressure from economic activity in the coming year, the Chicago Fed said.

The consumption and housing sectors were negative, while production, employment, sales, orders, and inventories were positive.

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