The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Slows to +0.24 in April

Latest Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) shows that three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in April, but growth slowed from March.  
Chicago Fed National Activity Index March 2021

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.24 in April but was down from +1.71 in March. Three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in April, but three categories deteriorated from March. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to +0.07 in April from +0.35 in March.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, moved down to +0.22 in April from +0.32 in March. Forty-seven of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in April, while 38 made negative contributions. Twenty-four indicators improved from March to April, while 60 indicators deteriorated and one was unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, 10 made negative contributions.

Production-related indicators contributed +0.18 to the CFNAI in April, down from +0.92 in March. Industrial production moved up 0.7% in April after increasing 2.4% in March while manufacturing production increased 0.4% in April after rising 3.1%  in the previous month. The contribution of the sales, orders, and inventories category to the CFNAI moved up to +0.07 in April from –0.09 in March.

The personal consumption and housing category contributed –0.06 to the CFNAI in April, down from +0.50 in March. The indicators in this category broadly deteriorated from March. The contribution of the employment, unemployment, and hours category to the CFNAI decreased to +0.05 in April from +0.38 in March. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 266,000 in April after increasing by 770,000 in March. The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points in April after decreasing by 0.2 percentage points in the previous month.

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