Chicago Fed National Activity Index rises in April

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The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose to 0.34 in April from a revised 0.32 in March, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported on Monday. The three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) increased to 0.46 last month from a revised 0.23 in March.

The CFNAI for March was originally reported as 0.10, while the CFNAI-MA3 was reported at 0.27.
In April 2017, the NAI stood at 0.44 while the CFNAI-MA3 was at 0.15.

The CFNAI diffusion index, also a three-month moving average, increased to 0.23 from a revised 0.11, first reported as 0.18. A year ago, the diffusion index was at 0.04.

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 May 17, with data for 51 of the 85 indicators having been published by then. The Fed said it used estimates for the missing data.

The production indicators added 0.27 to CFNAI in April (compared to a contribution of 0.19 in March), while employment-related indicators contributed 0.10 to the index in the month, after a 0.04 contribution in March, the Fed said.

Personal consumption and housing-related data subtracted 0.05 in the month, after contributing 0.02 in the prior month, while sales, orders and inventories added 0.02 in April after a 0.08 contribution the month before.

Overall, 50 of the 85 indicators made positive contributions to the index in the month and 35 made negative contributions. While 35 indicators were better than the previous month, eight of these still made negative contributions to the index. Also, 50 deteriorated from March to April.

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