The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Falls in April

Three-month moving average reaches highest level since November 2013.

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to –0.32 in April from +0.34 in March. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index made negative contributions to the index in April, and two of the four categories decreased from March.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.19 in April from +0.04 in March, marking its second consecutive reading above zero and its highest value since November 2013. April’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was slightly above its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, increased to +0.18 in April from +0.08 in March. Thirty-four of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in April, while 51 made negative contributions. Thirty-seven indicators improved from March to April, while 47 indicators deteriorated and one was unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, 15 made negative contributions.

Production-related indicators contributed –0.37 to the CFNAI in April, down from +0.27 in March. Manufacturing production decreased 0.4 percent in April after rising 0.7 percent in March, and manufacturing capacity utilization decreased to 76.4 percent in April from 76.9 percent in the previous month.

Employment-related indicators contributed +0.17 to the CFNAI in April, up from +0.15 in March. The unemployment rate decreased to 6.3 percent in April from 6.7 percent in March, and nonfarm payrolls increased 0.2 percent in April after increasing 0.1 percent in the previous month. The sales, orders, and inventories category made a neutral contribution to the CFNAI in April, up slightly from –0.01 in March.

The contribution from the consumption and housing category to the CFNAI moved down to –0.12 in April from –0.07 in March. Consumption indicators, on balance, declined, pushing the category’s contribution lower. However, housing starts increased to 1,072,000 annualized units in April from 947,000 in March, and housing permits increased to 1,080,000 annualized units in April from 1,000,000 in the previous month.

For more detail, download the PDF below.

Click Here

About the Author
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to MDM’s Privacy Policy.

2

articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

0

articles left

This is your last free article

Subscribe to MDM Premium today and get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events

1

article
left

You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.