Dec. Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index gains on production improvement

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The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for December rose to 0.27 from a downwardly revised 0.21 in November, while the three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) gained to 0.16 from an unrevised 0.12, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday.

The CFNAI for November was originally reported as 0.22.

In December 2017, the index was 0.20, while the CFNAI-MA3 was 0.45.

The CFNAI diffusion index, also a three-month moving average, climbed to 0.14 from an upwardly revised 0.11, first reported as 0.06. A year ago, the diffusion index was 0.35.

The production indicators contributed 0.22 to CFNAI in the month (compared to a contribution of 0.02 in the previous month), while employment-related indicators contributed 0.11 to the index in the month, after a 0.10 contribution in November, the Fed said.

Personal consumption and housing-related data subtracted 0.06 in the month, after taking 0.03 off the index in the prior month, while sales, orders and inventories was neutral in the month after a 0.12 contribution 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 Jan. 24, with data for 45 of the 85 indicators having been published by then, fewer than usual as a result of the government shutdown. The Fed said it used estimates for the missing data.

Overall, 46 of the 85 indicators made positive contributions to the index in the month and 39 made negative contributions. While 40 indicators were better than the previous month, 10 of these still made negative contributions to the index. Also, 44 deteriorated from November to December and one was unchanged.

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Economic indicators Manufacturing industry Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago