Chicago Fed National Activity Index Slows in August

Latest Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) shows that all four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in August, but three categories declined from July.
CFNAI August 2021

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to +0.29 in August from +0.75 in July. All four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in August, but three categories deteriorated from July. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, improved to +0.43 in August from +0.36 in July.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, edged down to +0.30 in August from +0.34 in July. Forty-nine of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in August, while 36 made negative contributions. Thirty-three indicators improved from July to August, while 52 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, ten made negative contributions.

Production-related indicators contributed +0.11 to the CFNAI in August, down from +0.40 in July. Industrial production moved up 0.4% in August after increasing 0.8% in the previous month. The contribution of the sales, orders, and inventories category to the CFNAI moved down to +0.03 in August from +0.07 in July.

The contribution of the employment, unemployment, and hours category to the CFNAI decreased to +0.12 in August from +0.38 in July. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in August after rising by 1,053,000 in the previous month. The personal consumption and housing category contributed +0.03 to the CFNAI in August, up from –0.09 in July. Personal consumption and housing indicators broadly improved from July.

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