Chicago Fed National Activity Index Reaches Multiyear High

Chris Lange

The Chicago Federal Reserve released its National Activity Index (CFNAI) for the month of November with a reading of +0.73, up from +0.31 in October. The index is designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure.

The three-month moving average rose to +0.48 in November, up from +0.09 in October, which is the highest level since May of 2010. The economic growth reflected in this level of the three-month moving average suggests modest inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.

The CFNAI is drawn from a weighted average of 85 economic indicators from four broad categories of data: production and income; employment, unemployment and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales, orders and inventories. Each of these data sets measures some aspect of overall macroeconomic activity. The index derived from this provides a single, summary measure of a factor common to these national economic data.

Out of the four broad categories, two had a positive contribution from October and one had a negative contribution.

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