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Chicago Fed National Index was Down in January

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) fell to –0.43 in January from +0.05 in December. One of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from December, and two of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in January. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to a neutral reading in January from +0.16 in December.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, decreased slightly to +0.09 in January from +0.18 in December. Thirty-five of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in January, while 50 made negative contributions. Thirty-eight indicators improved from December to January, while 46 indicators deteriorated and one was unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, 11 made negative contributions.

The contribution from production-related indicators to the CFNAI decreased to –0.45 in January from +0.08 in December. Industrial production fell by 0.6% in January after edging up 0.1% in December. The sales, orders, and inventories category made a contribution of +0.02 to the CFNAI in January, up slightly from a neutral contribution in December. The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing New Orders Index increased to 58.2 in January from 51.3 in December.

Employment-related indicators contributed +0.05 to the CFNAI in January, up slightly from +0.02 in December. Total nonfarm pay­rolls rose by 304,000 in January after increasing by 222,000 in the previous month. However, the unemployment rate increased to 4% in January from 3.9% in December. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI was up to -0.04 in January and -0.06 in December.

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