Chicago Fed Activity Index At Highest Level Since March 2006

Today’s release of the The Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI] indicates that national economic activity rose to its highest level since March 2006.

According to the Chicago Fed, the index’s three-month moving average, May’s CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.28 in May from +0.05 in April suggesting that growth in national economic activity was above its historical trend.

Moving above +0.20, the index’s three-month moving average in May also reached a level historically associated with a mature economic recovery following a recession, said the release.

Graph: Chicago Fed

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity. The indicators are collected into four broad categories of data: “production and income”, “employment, unemployment and hours”, “personal consumption and housing” and “sales, orders and inventories”.

CFNAI regards a value of zero for the total index as indicating that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth while a negative value indicates below-average growth.

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