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Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose to -0.5 in May from -0.48 in April. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from April, but only one of the four categories made a positive contribution to the index in May. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved up to -0.17 in May from -0.37 in April.
The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, increased to –0.12 in May from –0.26 in April. Thirty-nine of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in May, while 46 made negative contributions. Forty-nine indicators improved from April to May, while 36 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 20 made negative contributions.
The contribution from production-related indicators to the CFNAI rose to 0.07 in May from -0.44 in April. Industrial production rose 0.4% in May after decreasing 0.4% in April. The sales, orders and inventories category made a neutral contribution to the CFNAI in May, up slightly from -0.02 in April.
Employment-related indicators contributed -0.06 to the CFNAI in May, down from 0.05 in April. Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 75,000 in May after rising by 224,000 in the previous month. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI increased to -0.06 in May from -0.08 in April.