The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Rises in May

Three of four indicators made positive contributions to index.

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to 0.21 in May from -0.15 in April. Three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index made positive contributions to the index in May, and three of the four categories increased from April.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to 0.18 in May from 0.31 in April, marking its third consecutive reading above zero. May’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat 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 0.23 in May from 0.20 in April. Fifty-two of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in May, while 33 made negative contributions. Fifty-five indicators improved from April to May, while 29 indicators deteriorated and one was unchanged. Of the indicators that improved, 17 made negative contributions.

Production-related indicators contributed 0.20 to the CFNAI in May, up from -0.23 in April. Manufacturing production increased 0.6 percent in May after decreasing 0.1 percent in April, and manufacturing capacity utilization rose to 77 percent in May from 76.7 percent in the previous month.

Employment-related indicators contributed 0.10 to the CFNAI in May, down from 0.26 in April. The unemployment rate remained at 6.3 percent in May after declining by 0.4 percentage points in April; and nonfarm payrolls increased by 217,000 in May after rising by 282,000 in the previous month. The sales, orders and inventories category contributed 0.04 to the CFNAI in May, up from -0.03 in April.

The contribution from the consumption and housing category to the CFNAI moved up to -0.12 in May from -0.15 in April. Consumption indicators, on balance, improved, pushing the category’s contribution higher. However, housing starts decreased to 1,001,000 annualized units in May from 1,071,000 in April, and housing permits decreased to 991,000 annualized units in May from 1,059,000 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.