The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for September increased to positive 0.17 from negative 0.37 in August, while the three-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3) remained at negative 0.16, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported Monday.

The CFNAI for August was originally reported as negative 0.31, while the CFNAI-MA3 was negative 0.04 in the first read.

In September 2016, the index was negative 0.04, while the CFNAI-MA3 was negative 0.13 in that month.

The CFNAI diffusion index, also a three-month moving average, climbed to negative 0.19 from a revised negative 0.20, first reported as negative 0.01. A year ago, the diffusion index was negative 0.16.

The production indicators added 0.10 to CFNAI in the month (compared to an subtraction of 0.33 in the previous month), while employment-related indicators contributed 0.06 to the index in the month, after a 0.01 contribution in August, the Fed said.

Personal consumption and housing-related data subtracted 0.07 in the month, after subtracting 0.11 the prior month, while sales, orders and inventories added 0.07 in the month after a 0.06 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 Oct. 19, with data for 51 of the 85 indicators having been published by then. 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 54 indicators were better than the previous month, 17 of these still made negative contributions to the index. Also, 40 deteriorated from August to September.

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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.