The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Falls to -0.71 in October

Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from September and all four categories made negative contributions to the index in October.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) fell to -0.71 in October from -0.45 in September. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from September and all four categories made negative contributions to the index in October. The index’s three0-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved down to -0.31 during October from -0.21 in September.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, was up to -0.22 in October from -0.245 in September, Twenty-seven of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in October, while 58 made negative contributions. Thirty-four indicators improved from September to October, while 49 deteriorated and two were unchanged, Of the indicators that improved, 20 made negative contributions.

Production-related indicators contributed -0.55 to the CFNAI in October, down from -0.36 in September, Total industrial production fell 0.8% in October after falling 0.3% in September. The contribution of the sales, orders and inventories category to CFNAI was up to -0.03 in October from -0.04 in September. 

Employment-related indicators contributed -0.1 to the CFNAI in October, down from + +0.01 in September. Total nonfarm payrolls increased by 128,000 in October after rising by 180,000 in September, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6% in October from 3.5% in the previous month. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI edged up to – 0.03 in October from – 0.05 in September. Housing starts increased to 1,314,000 annualized units in October from 1,266,000 in September.

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