The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Ticks Up to +0.66 in January

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

Led by improvements in personal consumption-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to +0.66 in January from +0.41 in December. All four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in January, but three categories decreased from December. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to +0.47 in January from +0.60 in December.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, moved down to +0.34 in January from +0.49 in December. Fifty-three of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in January, while 32 made negative contributions. Forty-nine indicators improved from December to January, while 36 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 13 made negative contributions.

Production-related indicators contributed +0.28 to the CFNAI in January, down from +0.37 in December. Industrial production increased 0.9% in January after rising 1.3% in December. The contribution of the sales, orders, and inventories category to the CFNAI edged down to +0.02 in January from +0.05 in December.

Employment-related indicators contributed +0.01 to the CFNAI in January, down slightly from +0.05 in December. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 49,000 in January, after falling by 227,000 in the previous month. Notably, however, payrolls in manufacturing and retail trade declined in January. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI rose to +0.35 in January from –0.06 in December. Several personal consumption-related indicators improved from December.

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