The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March decreased to 0.08 from a downwardly revised 0.27 in February, first reported as 0.34, while the three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) fell to 0.03 from a downwardly revised 0.16 in February, first reported as 0.25, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday.
In March 2016, the index was negative 0.50, while the CFNAI-MA3 was negative 0.18 in that month.
The CFNAI diffusion index, also a three-month moving average, dipped to 0.11 from a revised 0.15 reading the month before, first reported as 0.17. A year ago, the diffusion index was negative 0.16.
The production indicators added 0.04 to CFNAI in the month (compared to an addition of 0.04 in the previous month), while employment-related indicators added 0.02 to the index in the month, after a 0.20 contribution in February, the Fed said.
Personal consumption and housing-related data subtracted 0.05 in the month, after subtracting 0.06 the prior month, while sales, orders and inventories contributed 0.07 in the month after a 0.09 addition 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 April 20, with data for 51 of the 85 indicators having been published by then. The Fed said it used estimates for the missing data.
Overall, 48 of the 85 indicators made positive contributions to the index in the month and 37 made negative contributions. While 37 indicators were better than the previous month, 10 of these still made negative contributions to the index. Also, 47 deteriorated from February to March.