The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for December increased to 0.27 from a downwardly revised 0.11 in November, while the three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) dipped to 0.42 from an upwardly revised 0.43, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday.

The CFNAI for November was originally reported as 0.15, while the CFNAI-MA3 was 0.41 in the first read.

In December 2016, the index was 0.47, while the CFNAI-MA3 was 0.10 in that month.

The CFNAI diffusion index, also a three-month moving average, slid to 0.23 from a revised 0.26, first reported as 0.28. A year ago, the diffusion index was negative 0.01.

The production indicators added 0.25 to CFNAI in the month (compared to an subtraction of 0.22 in the previous month), while employment-related indicators contributed 0.01 to the index in the month, after a 0.12 contribution in November, the Fed said.

Personal consumption and housing-related data subtracted 0.07 in the month, after subtracting 0.03 the prior month, while sales, orders and inventories added 0.08 in the month after a 0.04 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. 18, with data for 49 of the 85 indicators having been published by then. The Fed said it used estimates for the missing data.

Overall, 43 of the 85 indicators made positive contributions to the index in the month and 42 made negative contributions. While 37 indicators were better than the previous month, 9 of these still made negative contributions to the index. Also, 47 deteriorated from November to December.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.