Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rebounded to +0.43 in June from –0.45 in May. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from May, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in June. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged up to +0.16 in June from +0.10 in May.
The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, was unchanged at +0.15 in June. Forty-five of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in June, while 40 made negative contributions. Forty-five indicators improved from May to June, while 40 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, 12 made negative contributions.
Production-related indicators contributed +0.36 to the CFNAI in June, up from –0.56 in May. Manufacturing industrial production increased 0.8 percent in June after declining 1.0 percent in May. The sales, orders, and inventories category made a contribution of +0.06 to the CFNAI in June, up slightly from +0.03 in May.
Employment-related indicators contributed +0.08 to the CFNAI in June, down slightly from +0.11 in May. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 213,000 in June after rising by 244,000 in May. The contribution of the personal consumption and housing category to the CFNAI ticked down to –0.06 in June from –0.04 in May. Housing starts decreased to 1,173,000 annualized units in June from 1,337,000 in May, and housing permits moved down to 1,273,000 annualized units in June from 1,301,000 in the previous month.
The CFNAI was constructed using data available as of July 19, 2018. At that time, June data for 51 of the 85 indicators had been published. For all missing data, estimates were used in constructing the index. The May monthly index value was revised to –0.45 from an initial estimate of –0.15, and the April monthly index value was revised to +0.49 from last month’s estimate of +0.42. Revisions to the monthly index can be attributed to two main factors: revisions in previously published data and differences between the estimates of previously unavailable data and subsequently published data. The revisions to both the May and April monthly index values were primarily due to the former.