The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for February surged to positive 0.44 from a revised negative 0.49 reading in January, while the three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) slid to positive 0.09 from a revised positive 0.28 in January, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday.
In February 2012, the index was positive 0.25, while the CFNAI-MA3 was positive 0.46 in that month.
The January index was originally reported as negative 0.32, while the CFNAI-MA3 was first reported as positive 0.30.
The positive reading for the CFNAI-MA3 indicates national economic growth was somewhat above its historical trend, and suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity in the coming year, the Chicago Fed said.
The CFNAI diffusion index increased to positive 0.14 from a revised positive 0.13 the month before, first reported as positive 0.10.
The production indicators added 0.34 in the month (compared to a subtraction of 0.30 in the previous month), while employment-related indicators contributed 0.20 in the month, after adding 0.01 in January, the Fed said.
Consumption and housing-related data subtracted 0.16 in the month, after subtracting 0.19 the prior month, while sales, orders and inventories contributed 0.05 in the month, after subtracting 0.01 in January.
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 March 21, with data for 51 of the 85 indicators having been published by then. The Fed said it used estimates for the missing data.
Overall, 58 of the 85 indicators made positive contributions to the index in the month and 27 made negative contributions. While 64 indicators were better than the previous month, 16 of these still made negative contributions to the index. Also, 21 deteriorated from January to February.