The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s national activity index declined in August to negative 0.53 from a revised negative 0.11 reading in July, which had originally been reported as zero. That compares with negative 0.56 in August 2009.

The three-month moving average for the index slipped to negative 0.42 in August from a revised July reading of negative 0.27, the Chicago Fed reported Monday. The original July reading was negative 0.17.

The index is a weighted average of 85 existing monthly indicators of national economic activity, which is constructed to have an average value of zero. The negative reading in August indicates national economic growth was somewhat below its historical trend and suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity in the coming year, the Chicago Fed said.

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